Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thinking about eating, deciding where and what to eat, food provisioning and food preparation all seem to take up a large part of our daily routine.  Traveling throughout the Caribbean brings us in touch with a variety of cultures and foods. Meat is a staple - fish, conch (lambi), chicken, lamb, salt fish and goat are readily available. Beef is in the supermarkets but it just doesn’t taste like what we’re used to.  
Bar up the Indian River,
Local lobster is spiny and has no claws. Rice is the preferred starch; rice and beans is served everywhere, but the French islands have delicious bread and pastries. Caribbean food is usually seasoned but is not spicy hot, although locally made hot sauces will make your nose burn and eyes water.
(nut is on the top, no wonder they're so expensive)

Tainos were the native settlers on most islands and they grew batata (a different kind of sweet potato), squash, peppers, corn, cassava and pineapple. When they arrived, Europeans introduced lime, mango, orange, tangerine, tamarind, guava, ginger, sugarcane, cocoa and Captain Bligh brought breadfruit as 
Cutty picking native fruit
an inexpensive way to feed slaves. After slavery was abolished, workers from India were brought to the plantations and curry is now popular in recipes throughout the islands. I have sampled ‘roti’ (curried meat and vegetables wrapped in a soft chickpea flatbread) and ‘doubles’ (two fried Indian flatbreads filled with curried chickpeas). Yum! I once ordered a chicken roti and found it made from chicken necks, bones and all.  You need to order “boneless” if you don’t like chewing on the bones.
Tropical fruit is sold at stands everywhere and the ground is strewn with ripe fruit that dropped off the trees.  Richard narrowly escaped being thunked on the head by a falling mango.  I bought a soursop for $5EC at a roadside stand but when I cut it open, I was overwhelmed by its appearance and didn’t know how to deal with it. Our Grenadian guide, Cutty, says, “No one on Grenada goes to sleep hungry – fruit is so plentiful.”  We have had passion fruit smoothies, banana fritters, and fried plantain. 
Fresh Nutmeg

No discussion of Caribbean cuisine would be complete without mentioning things shaken & stirred. Every island seems to have a locally produced beer and a rum.  The beer is the not cheap but the rum is. We have tried rum punch is as many different places as we can and no two make it exactly the same, but they all do pack a punch.

If you’d like to try a taste of the Caribbean, here’s a recipe for Skipper’s Rum Punch:
Mix the juice of 3 limes with ¼ cup Grenadine syrup, 1 cup of dark rum, and one liter of fruit juice (orange, pineapple and/or passion fruit. Serve with lots of ice and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

Thanks for following

Richard and Kay

Delicious Pineapple

Ummmm meat
Union Island

Richard and Paul at
happy hour
Chatham Bay, Union Island

BBQ Fish coming
Union Island

Jack's in Bequia

More Happy Hour

Botanical Garden

Street food

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