[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Loop Caribbean brings us 8 Caribbean staples for Christmas time.
Food is one of the essential parts of any celebration in the Caribbean. At Christmas time, the Caribbean’s culinary offering goes into overload with a series of dishes that only appear during the yuletide season. Here are six dishes that are staples on tables throughout the Caribbean.
Ham: Nothing says Christmas in the Caribbean like the taste and smell of ham. Traditionally, the pig leg would be boiled in a large container of water for several hours to remove all excess salt. Hams on the market today, don’t require this preparation and can simply be placed in your oven. Cooked ham is usually served with freshly baked bread at breakfast or as a side dish during lunch/dinner.
Black Cake: Throughout the English speaking Caribbean, Black Cake is a must have during the festive season. Black cake is a type of fruit cake and is made with flour, dark rum, cherry brandy, seedless raisins, dried/glazed fruits, citrus/vanilla extract and cinnamon. If you need evidence at how loved the Black Cake is, take a look on social media and you’ll see the viral videos of people in Jamaica and Barbados stampeding through a popular membership supermarket to get their hand on a black cake.
Pepper Pot: A Christmas breakfast, lunch or dinner in Guyana is not complete without a serving of the national dish pepper pot. This dish traces its roots to Guyana’s indigenous people and is a combination of Meat (beef, pork, mutton), cinnamon, hot peppers, cassareep, which is a thick black liquid made from cassava root.
Conkies: A celebration is not a celebration in Barbados without some good conkie. This is dish is a combination of pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut and cornmeal. Conkies can be a side or main dish and it is packed with fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, iron and more.
Pastelle: From the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Grenada, pastelles are a must have on any Christmas table. The dish combines cornmeal, spices and meat wrapped in a banana leaf. Pastelles are steamed and can be enjoyed as a main or side dish.
Hoppin’ John: This Bermuda classic pays homage to Africans who were brought from the Carolinas on the US mainland. Hoppin’ John is made with black-eye peas, onions, garlic and meat. When completed, its served with a bowl of white rice. Bermudians typically prepare a good pot of Hoppin’ John to bring the family good luck in the new year.
Stewed Pigeon (Gungo) Peas: A staple of any Caribbean celebration is a good pot of stewed pigeon (gungo) peas. This dish is a complete meal as it is packed with vitamins, calcium and dietary fibre which are essential for maintaining digestive health.
Salad: For those who strive for “balance” on the festive dinner table, a salad is a must. The top choices in the Caribbean are potato, pasta or a simple fresh garden salad.
For full article and photo gallery, see https://caribbean.loopnews.com/content/six-christmas-staples-around-caribbean