Tuesday, 25 March 2014

This is what my sister had to say about Caribbean food...

I see my sister once a week and we quite often engage in interesting conversations every time we see one another but on that particular visit I decided to ask her about her favourite Caribbean food. She responded with complete and utter enthusiasm as she began talking about Dominica, her brief experience and her love for the food.

This i what she said "Caribbean breakfasts are varied but my favourite breakfast consists of a chocolate drink called “Cocoa Tea” which is cocoa in its purest form, grinded through a mill it’s rolled into sticks and leave to dry out.  It can either be grated into a powder or just dropped into a bowl of water and flavoured by almond essence, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.  To enhance the taste coconut milk is added and thickened lightly with flour, however, this is dependent on personal taste, and then allowed to simmer until it comes to a boil.

Cocoa naturally tastes bitter and thought it can be drunk without sugar, sugar greatly enhances the flavour.  Some people drink it without milk, which in Dominica is referred to “cocoa a l'eaut”  but to be honest, cocoa is only drunk like this when there is no milk available, preferably evaporated or condensed milk.

I tend to drink cocoa tea with bread, typically a French stick or “bakes or sometimes referred to as jonny cakes” a dough fried instead of boiled (in Jamaica it is referred to as fried dumpling) , it can be sweet or savoury, rolled flat or small and round.   Typically in the Caribbean one would also have cucumber, salt fish, tomato or smoked hearing prepared with garlic and onions and lightly fried, yum yum.  Because it is high in fat, in the UK cocoa is a Sunday breakfast treat, in the Caribbean it was a daily breakfast.

Caribbean foods tend to be spicy and flavoursome, with fresh herbs being commonly used.  My family’s two main ingredients in cooking are garlic and onion, but garlic is a must followed by fresh thyme, spring onions and other fresh herbs, depending on the dish, bay leaf, fresh ginger, coconut cream and seasoning peppers received from the Caribbean.  Dominica enjoys foods from the Indigenous people, the Caribs, cassava bread made from manioc or cassava from which farine is made.  The starchy extract from the arrowroot plant is used as a thickening agent and to feed babies from three months up wards.

Caribbean food is my favourite because although we do eat a variety of foods, it is our main food and I grew up eating and enjoying the flavours.

I was born in Dominica and left the Island aged 6 years old and at my leaving party my grandmother made dumplings soup with kidney beans and a selection of meats, to this day I reminisce about that meal and my departure from Dominica to London.

Another favourite of mine is curry goat; I enjoy this because of the intensity of the curry against the distinct goat meat.  This dish is especially delicious when potato chunks and coconut milk are added". 

Cocoa image: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cocoa&espv=210&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=wgsyU7TnCMbx0gXwiIGIBA&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ#q=cocoa&tbm=isch&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=2eASoZofcpciyM%253A%3BAJ38eUu-WE_uFM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.micmore.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2013%252F05%252FCocoaBeans_med.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.micmore.com%252F%253Fpage_id%253D37%3B737%3B553

1 comment:

  1. Aside from your detailed description and a step-by-step of how to make cocoa tea the name itself just oozes sweetness and deliciousness! I know that if I was given Cocoa tea growing up I would be one happy child!
    Do you know of any restaurant that sells Cocoa tea?! I think if I am to try this drink it has to be made the traditional Caribbean way. Many Thanks :)