Where to Buy Authentic Newfoundland Salt Beef in Ontario

Newfoundland salt beef is a traditional cured and dried meat that is a staple of Newfoundland cuisine. For those living outside the province finding authentic Newfoundland salt beef can be a challenge. As someone born and raised in Ontario I’ve researched the best places to buy true Newfie salt beef locally.

What is Newfoundland Salt Beef?

First, let’s cover exactly what salt beef is. Salt beef starts with a cut of raw beef, usually from the round or blade. The meat is cured in salt and saltpeter for about 3 weeks. This curing process both preserves the beef and infuses it with salty flavor.

Once cured, the salt beef is then air dried for another 1-2 weeks. Drying concentrates the flavors and firms up the texture. The resulting salt beef is deeply seasoned, lean and chewy. It stores well without refrigeration.

Salt beef gets cooked by boiling until tender. The concentrated salty taste mellows out, leaving incredibly flavored beef. Salt beef is classically served with root vegetables like cabbage, carrots, parsnips, and turnips.

The History of Salt Beef in Newfoundland

Curing beef was a food preservation method pioneered by fishermen in Newfoundland and other Atlantic coastal communities. Their diets centered around seafood, but the salt beef provided necessary protein when fresh meat was scarce.

Over time, salt beef grew from survival food into a celebrated ingredient and cultural icon of Newfoundland. The unique flavor and chewy texture makes it a beloved staple today. Serving up a Jiggs dinner of salt beef and vegetables remains a proud tradition.

Where to Source Authentic Newfie Salt Beef

To get true Newfoundland salt beef in Ontario, you need to find brands that actually produce it in Newfoundland. Here are some places to look:

Online Direct from Newfoundland Companies

Several traditional Newfoundland companies ship salt beef anywhere in Canada. Their beef is cured and processed right in NFLD. Two excellent options are:

  • Purity Factories: A 97 year old company producing many classic Newfie foods. Their Old Fashioned Salt Beef is authentic and affordable.

  • Rodgers and Sons: Specializing in meats since 1959, their traditional salt beef is top-notch.

Ordering directly from the source ensures the real deal. Stock up on other favorites like cod, smoked caplin, and hard tack while you’re at it!

Freezerland Store in Brampton, Ontario

This store brings a huge selection of authentic Newfoundland groceries to the GTA. They stock several excellent salt beef options:

  • Purity Factories Old Fashioned Salt Beef: The same product as above, just on local shelves.

  • Newfoundland Blend Salt Beef: Local Ontario beef cured in the traditional Newfie style.

  • Rodgers and Sons Salt Beef: As above, a top brand now available locally.

Visit Freezerland to smell and see salt beef in person before you buy. Talk with their knowledgeable staff for recommendations too.

Little John’s Convenience, Oakville, Ontario

This tiny convenience store specializes in groceries from Atlantic Canada. Alongside peameal bacon and garlic fingers, they stock authentic brands of salt beef from Newfoundland:

  • Purity Factories salt beef: Available in convenient smaller packs.

  • Harbour Grace salt beef: Another traditional Newfoundland producer.

Call ahead to check their latest salt beef selection. Their limited space means inventory changes.

Other Atlantic Canadian Specialty Shops

Some shops featuring East Coast foods may also carry authentic salt beef from NFLD producers. For example:

  • Atlantic Grocery in Toronto sometimes stocks Purity Foods salt beef.

  • Atlantic Food Market in Ottawa is another place to check for true Newfie brands.

Call ahead to see if salt beef is in stock and carefully check labels for Newfoundland sources when you visit.

What Makes the Best Newfoundland Salt Beef?

To identify the most authentic and highest quality Newfoundland salt beef, look for these traits:

  • Cured in Newfoundland according to traditional techniques

  • Made from beef rounds or plates for proper leanness

  • No preservatives added besides basic salt and saltpeter

  • Temporary pre-freezing is acceptable to ship

  • Dark, concentrated red color from full curing

  • Firm dense texture without drying out

  • Strong salty flavor balanced with beef richness

Seeking out the real deal will satisfy any cravings for this Newfoundland specialty! Try it in the classic Jiggs dinner or enjoy the salt beef goodness in sandwiches, homemade corned beef hash, or however else you like.

Newfoundland salt beef


Is cured beef the same as salt beef?

Corned beef, or salt beef in some Commonwealth countries, is salt-cured brisket of beef. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with large-grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt. Sometimes, sugar and spices are added to corned beef recipes.

What’s the difference between corned beef and salt beef?

In essence, salt beef and corned beef are the same – the only difference is corned beef is finely chopped and it’s often mixed with a small amount of gelatine. The Old English word for ‘corn’ is used to describe small grains – like peppercorns.

What is Newfoundland salt beef?

Salt cured beef is a product famous in Newfoundland and in the rest of the Maritimes. It is cuts of raw beef stored in a strong salt brine. Traditionally this type of meat was stored in a cool dry place, such as a bottom cupboard or root cellar in a bucket, barrel, or some other type of vessel.

How long does salt beef last in the freezer?

To serve, slice thickly against the grain of the meat or it will crumble. Serve hot or cold. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for three days and in the freezer for up to six weeks. Before freezing, it’s best to slice it and wrap first in baking parchment, then foil.

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