We always seemed to have had Papaya (say paw paw or paw poi in Trinidad and Tobago) trees in our yard as kids growing up on the islands, so this punch (or call it a smoothie) as well as ice cream was always in the fridge. I still recall getting in trouble with my dad for cutting the leaves (with long stems) off the tree as we would make a sort of cave-man flute or whistle with it. In the process of breaking the leaves off, my brother and I would knock the baby Papaya off the tree and the odd time we would even knock off the more mature fruits.. yea, we didn't care as all we wanted were the stems/leaves.
With the natural abundance of fruits we have in the Caribbean I'm surprised we didn't have a wider jam and jellies culture, when I was a kid on the islands. To be honest, the only jam mom would make was guava, sour cherry and Pommecythere (ambarella). However with all the artisan -like initiatives lately, we're seeing more and more creative use of our fruits. We've come to realize that we can still enjoy tropical fruits when it's out of season. If you're from the Caribbean you'll know exactly what I mean when I say we eat 'seasonally'... take sorrel for example. We only drink sorrel at Christmas time. Why? In this recipe we'll take two of the most common topical fruits and make what I believe is the perfect marriage of flavors and texture.
I've been fortunate to travel up and down the Caribbean island chain over the years and one of the things I find astonishing, are the many uses we have for plantains. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, Sunday lunch (most important family meal) always consisted of boiled ripe plantains to go along with the stewed meats, Callaloo, Macaroni Pie, Stewed Beans, Sweet Potato and other tasty treats mom would prepare. Very simple, but what a joy to eat. The English, Spanish, French and Dutch Caribbean all have their unique take on preparing Plantains (green and ripe) and I'm sure this orange brown sugar glazed plantain recipe will surely join in among other classics.
Whenever we would have relatives come over for the classic Caribbean Sunday lunch, our dad would always dust out his old crank-ice cream pail and all US kids knew we were in for a delightful treat. I’m yet to find an ice cream which even comes close to Joe’s creamy coconut ice cream. Funny how […]
What’s a month of grilling without a refreshing dessert in a glass? There’s no better way to start (or finish) the day on those hot summer days, than a refreshing glass of banana punch. I guess for most people outside the Caribbean this would be called a ‘shake’ or smoothie, but as with all thick […]
If you travel within the Caribbean, most likely you’ve found yourself on the regional airline LIAT and I’m sure you’ve been reading my delicious offerings in their inflight magazine ZiNG. A gorgeous magazine which is very solid in regional content. In the latest issue I shared this recipe for a diabetic friendly dessert (or snack) […]
Kurma is one of those snacks I fondly recall buying with my daily school allowance at recess and at lunch break as it was not something regularly made at home and which kid does not like sweets? Mind-you, come Divali time, mom’s cousin who was a Hindu would always invite us to her home to […]
One of our favorite desserts in the Caribbean is homemade ice cream and as a boy growing up on the islands, there was nothing better than the stuff our dad would make in his hand-crank ice cream pail (maker). After a delightful Sunday lunch in the heat of the Caribbean sun, we (brother and sisters.. […]
If you’re looking to add a little Caribbean flavor to your baking/dessert repertoire, I’ve got a simple and delicious coconut mango cookie recipe to share with you. If I recall correctly the range of baking (desserts) in our kitchen when we were kids in the Caribbean, were cakes and in some cases pastries. Our mom […]
Ask any Trinbagonian what’s their favorite dessert/snack and I can guarantee it would be almost impossible to find someone who would not say currants roll. A lovely flaky dough filled with cinnamon, brown sugar and currants.. layers and layers of island delight. There are some who like it somewhat wet or moist and compact and […]