Taste Of The Caribbean: Cola Couronne, Haiti’s #1 Soft Drink

Dinner in Haiti.JPG

On Visit in Haiti.  See our Drinks

The soda dates all the way back to 1924, and everyone here seems to love it. Literally 200px-cola_couronne_bottleeveryone I asked confirmed that Couronne is the #1 soda in Haiti. There was no second place brand; no honorable mention mentioned. In Haiti, it seems, it’s Cola Couronne or nothing… and that’s not really such a bad thing.

Electric-orange in color, Couronne bears a sweetly-carbonated aroma that takes me right back to my childhood in St. Croix when my parents would buy us cases of Fanta in assorted flavors. They always came in tall glass bottles, which we took great care in returning to our local gas station.

In Haiti, you’ll almost always find Cola Couronne in tall glass bottles as well. My friend Jonathan, who used to work in the Coca-Cola plant where they make Couronne, explained to me that there is no aluminum in Haiti.  READ MORE

Blackeyed Peas Cookup

Image from soulfoodandsoutherncooking.com

Blackeyed Peas Cookup

Recipe by Grace Oliver
Ingredients
3 lb boneless chicken thigh (or whatever meat you like)
2 lb medium shrimp (optional)
1 medium onion
½ bunch green onions
4 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
3 tbsp soya sauce (optional)
Hot pepper to taste
5 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup of chopped parsely
1/4 tsp blackpepper
2 medium tomatoes
2 boulion cubes (chicken flavor)
2 tsp Goya Adobo
2 cans blackeyed peas
2 stalks of celery with lots of leaves(diced)
1 sweet red pepper (optional but looks good)
4 tbsp oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2½ cups rice (parboiled or jasmine)
1 coconut or (1 can coconut milk)
3 cups of water

Preparation
Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces (about 12), and wash with either lime or lemon juice or vinegar.
Drain as much of the liquid as possible. Add all the seasoning and marinate for at least 1 hour, although the
longer the better. If left overnight then refrigerate. Heat the oil over med-high heat until very hot.
Add sugar and watch very carefully keeping the meat, pot spoon, pot cover or splatter screen handy.
When the sugar is very dark brown (caramelized), add the meat carefully and stir to brown all pieces.
Try to squeeze out any liquid from the meat so as to avoid a big splash, and to allow the meat to fry rather
than boil. Turn the heat to med-low and let the meat fry for about 5 minutes, turning frequently.
Wash the rice and add to the meat and stir fry this for about 1 min. Add the rest of the ingredients and
fry for another minute. Add 3 cups of water and bring the pot to a boil. Turn heat down to low and cook covered.
Check the pot after about 8-10 mins. and turn it making sure its not dried out yet. If necessary, add a little water.
When the rice is tender remove cover and turn the heat off. Let it sit for a few minutes and stir it up a little to
allow it to dry out a bit. Serve with the usual sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, watercress etc.

Caribbean Jerk Wings Recipe

One of my favorite recipes that I learned from my college roommate from Guyana how to make jerk wings.  Her recipe was short and simple.  It includes using either Walker Woods marinade or Grace marinade.  Slather marinade over wings and bake.  That is it.  And it is spicy and delicious.  However, if you don’t live in New York or cities with large populations then you find that cost of these quick foolproof marinades escalates.  It is time to now how to make the jerk sauce from scratch.

According to the Caribbean Pot Blog:

You’ll Need…

2 scallions (green onions)
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Habanero pepper (scotch bonnet or any that you like)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 onion
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic

3 lbs chicken wings.

Click for Instructions

Belizean “BBQ’d” Fish Recipe

Belizean BBQ Fish
Belize is located in North America on the northern edge of the Central America isthmus – a somewhat narrow strip of land that connects North andSouth America. While it is hard to pin down any truly distinctive Belizean cuisine, what you will find in Belize is a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, African, Spanish, and Mayan culinary influences. Seafood is a staple of Belize. Barracuda and Snapper are among some of the prominent fish of the waters.
  • 2 large white-fish type fillets (like cod or orange roughy)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 Texas 1015 (or other sweet) onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 banana peppers (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • Greek Seasoning *
  • Garlic Powder
  • Grate carrots and set aside. Dice onions into 1/4″
  • cubes and set aside. Dice bell pepper in 1/4″ cubes.

If using jalapeno, dice very fine. If using banana peppers, slice very thinly. Mix all peppers (bell and others) and set aside. Tear off a large (12″) piece of aluminum foil. Spread 1/4 of the grated carrots out on foil and sprinkle 1/4 of the onion on top of the carrot. Sprinkle one side of the fillet with seasonings and place the fillet on top of the carrots and onions, seasoning side down. Sprinkle more seasonings on top of fillet. Cover fillet with 1/2 of pepper mixture, 1/4 onions, 1/4 carrots. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over fish and veggies.

Fold tin foil so it covers fish and veggies well and seal. Repeat for other fillet. Place on grill at medium temperature 10 minutes on each side. Serve with pepper side up. If you can’t find Greek Seasoning, a substitute would be to use salt, pepper, a little more garlic powder, and a touch of oregano

North America: History of Johnny Cake & Recipe

Johnnycake (also jonnycake, johnny cake, journey cake, shawnee cake and johnny bread) is a cornmeal flatbread that was an early American staple food and is prepared on the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Jamaica. The food probably originates from the native inhabitants of North America. It is still eaten in the West Indies, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Colombia, and Bermuda as well as in the United States.

(Click Wikipedia to see international ingredient differences)

Johnnycakes are a type of unleavened cornbread made of cornmeal, salt, and water. The dough was set on a wooden board or barrel stave and placed at an angle in front of an open fire to bake.Hoecake was traditionally cooked on a hoe: “Hoe-Cake: A cake of Indian meal, baked before the fire. In the interior parts of the country, where kitchen utensils do not abound, they are baked on a hoe; hence the name.”
In the American south during the 18th century versions were made with rice or hominy flour and perhaps cassava.[19] A 1905 cookbook includes a recipe for “Alabama Johnny Cake” made with rice and ‘meal’.

Watch the Simple Johnny Cake Recipe.  In a rush?  Click for written directions

Black Cake- A Christmas Tradition in Trinidad

Trinigourmet.com-Like sorrel, Black Cake in Trinidad is a Christmas institution. Made predominantly of alcohol drenched prunes, currants and raisins, variations abound (and I love taste testing when we make the visiting rounds). Still, the best black cake is always the recipe that one grew up with. In this case my black cake comes from my aunt, who also uses this recipe to make grooms’ cakes for weddings (in Trinidad these are also traditionally black cake).

You’ll notice the insane amount of liquour that goes into this dessert. Not only does that make the final cake unbelievably moist it also renders it virtually ageless. My aunt makes a batch of these at xmas time, keeps them in ‘old time cake tins’ and even in July and August we are still eating the remnants! SEE DIRECTIONS