If you want to find the best visitor center in Newfoundland…no, in Canada….no, in North America, you need look no further than the one at Boutte du Cap Park in Cape St. George.
The park sits at the very western edge of Cape St. George, a gorgeous headland along the southwestern coast of the province. Boutte du Cap means “The Boot Cape” for the unique boot-shaped rock formations along the cliffs.
When we rolled into the park late Wednesday morning, our intention was simple — to catch a glimpse of the rugged cliffs that form the coastline. Instead, we stumbled upon a tradition that is being kept alive in the communities on the Cape — community bread ovens.
Upon entering the small visitor’s center, we were greeted by two friendly park staff kneading bread dough.
“Stick around,” they said. “We will be serving fresh bread at noon!”
Fresh bread? In a tourist visitor center? Only in Newfoundland.
There was no way we were going to miss out on this, so even though it was only 11, we decided to explore the park while waiting for the bread.
Shortly before noon, the smell of baking bread drew us back to the outdoor oven where we joined the bakers, other tourists, and a few locals to swap stories of our travels and of life in Newfoundland.
We also gave excited pronouncements of what we would put on the bread.
“Molasses!” said one visitor from Newfoundland.
“Butter!” said another.
“Peanut butter!” my sister declared. “We are Americans after all!”
Promptly at noon, the women took the freshly baked rolls out of the oven and served them to us.
What a fun way to end our time in Newfoundland — breaking bread with new-found friends!
Thanks to my sister for taking these photos:
To read more about the community bread ovens around Cape St. George, here’s an interesting article from the Huffington Post (2014).
And if you find yourself in southwestern Newfoundland during the summer, be sure to pop in between noon and 12, Monday – Saturday for fresh bread!