What is a touton? Well, to begin, “have a touton or do without’n” is a traditional saying in Newfoundland.
Translation: Have a touton or do without one.
Literal meaning: Have a touton or don’t have a touton.
Where this saying originated, we’re not sure. But it was somewhere in Newfoundland at some point in history. (P.S. touton is pronounced similar to Mountain)
More importantly, before deciding if you should have a touton or not, you need to get the answer to the question, “what is a touton?”
Luckily, the concept is not difficult!
What Is a Touton?
A touton is fried bread dough. Pretty simple. Somewhat similar to a pancake or donut, they’re commonly made in Newfoundland by frying dough in butter or oil.
Toutons can be topped with butter, molasses, maple syrup, or jam, and also pair well with baked beans.
Typically they’d be served at breakfast, lunch, or brunch, and you’ll find many local restaurants offering them on their breakfast menus. Toutons are usually served standalone, but can be found used creatively such as replacing the bun of a breakfast sandwich.
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How Do You Make Toutons?
As you now know, the concept of a Newfoundland touton is not difficult to understand. Therefore, making them should also be relatively simple.
You take some bread dough, form it into small round pieces, and you fry it. Either in a deep fryer or a pan. A properly done touton should be crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.
You can pick up some ready-made bread dough at a grocery or convenience store, or opt to make your own dough at home. Some places even specifically label it as touton dough!
We’re not chefs, so check out a couple of great local Newfoundland Touton recipes here and here.
Should You Have a Touton or Do Without’n?
This answer is very subjective since it depends on one’s own personal preference and dietary restrictions. As with any fried food, they should be enjoyed in moderation.
If you’re visiting Newfoundland for the first time and have never tried a touton before, then you absolutely should take the opportunity to do so. That is, unless you have a gluten sensitivity. They taste delicious with breakfast the morning after you’ve been Screeched-In as an honorary Newfoundlander. Similarly, they’re also great after drinking Newfoundland-exclusive beer all night.