After recently spending some time in the Caribbean, I became exposed to a new, fascinating cuisine that encompasses a world of simple, rustic flavors. This cuisine is known as the “Flavors of the Sun.”
The food my company and I ate was surely not “haute cuisine”, but it was most definitely an experience. There were some highlights too. After a long hike down a mountain in Antigua, we came to a roadside stand where a man was hacking off the ends of coconuts with a machete, and two older women were sitting at table peeling tiny pineapples with hunting knives. It was quite a sight. One of the women offered us some homemade ginger beer, which was wonderful. She then cut us up some fresh pineapple that tasted like pure sugar.
We then ventured down the road back into town, where we found a “Roti” shop on a street corner. The dish consists of some sort of stew, whether conch, chicken, or goat, wrapped in a paper thin flour pancake, similar to a crepe. Roti was found in many locations throughout the islands. The Roti that we were served was filled with stewed conch. This was particularly pleasurable since it is so rare to have fresh conch in the United States. The Roti shop also served a dish called “Doubles”, which were composed of thick, sweet corn cakes stuffed with curried chickpeas.
In Dominica, after finding our way out of a jungle, we decided to dine in a quieter part of town, where no tourists could be found. We were in for a treat. It was later decided that our meal at this particular restaurant was the second best to the Roti Shop in Antigua. We arrived at a small caf