Monthly Archives: February 2014

Rum ~Liquid gold of the Caribbean II

These are some of the wonderful rums being produced in Trinidad and Tobago today.

1919angostura-1824-12-

These rums are best served neat, or on ice. Some very traditional Caribbean chasers are water, coca-cola, and coconut-water.

Rum1rumoniceRum-TAsting

Chasers:

Personally I love rum and coconut-water and if you haven’t tried it yet then I suggest you do. Getting fresh coconuts is difficult but you cannot replicate that taste in artificial drinks. In London this brand Vita Coco is the closest I found to good tasting coconut water, and can be bought at Morrisons.

coconut-water-2                                                 Coconut water

Rum Punch

One of the most delicious drinks is a rum punch. As Chris says you can play around with this recipe but let’s start with a traditional recipe. The most important ingredient is the rum and your choice of rum will determine the quality and taste of your rum punch.

Rum Punch ~ Putting it together…

This recipe is beautifully done as you can see they’ve used a St Croix rum. My only change would be to use Malibu insted of the coconut cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4): 1.5 cups of rum, .5 cups of orange juice, 1.5 cups of pineapple juice, 3 tablespoons of cream of coconut, .5 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1.5 cups of grenadine

[In this video, we DOUBLED all of the above to serve 8.]

INSTRUCTIONS: mix all ingredients except for grenadine. Pour a small amount of grenadine into a cup filled with ice. Add rum mix. Enjoy!

At Christmas time there is nothing more enjoyable than punche-creme or rum flavoured eggnog:

http://blog.seasonwithspice.com/2011/12/ceylon-cinnamon-nutmeg-eggnog-recipe.html

Enjoy these recipes!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/trinidads-ponche-de-creme-punch-with-cream/

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Rum~Liquid gold of the Caribbean I

Trinidad and Tobago Rum

“Drink a rum and a punche-crema, drink ah rum…”  Lord Kitchener

glass of Rum

Over the Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago rum will be drunk by millions. Rum is an exquisite drink which is a byproduct taken directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. Rum can be referred to in Spanish by descriptors such as ron viejo (“old rum”) and ron añejo (“aged rum”).

The majority of the world’s rum production occurs in the Caribbean and Latin America. Rum is also produced in Austria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mexico, Hawaii, the Philippines, India, Reunion Island, Mauritius, South Africa, Taiwan, Japan, United States and Canada.

Light rums are commonly used in cocktails, whereas “golden” and “dark” rums were typically consumed individually (i.e., “straight” or “neat”) or used for cooking, but are now commonly consumed with mixers. Premium rums are also available, made to be consumed either straight or iced.

Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies as well as in the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland. This beverage has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo). Rum has also served as a popular medium of economic exchange, used to help fund enterprises such as slavery, organized crime, and military insurgencies (e.g., the American Revolution and Australia’s Rum Rebellion).

See more about the Caroni Sugar Factory here:

CaroniSugar factory                                caroniRum

http://www.sugarheritagevillage.com/index.php

One of the first rums produced by this distillery was Old Oak. The rawest of rums is called Puncheon Rum:

Old Oak Rum                          Puncheon Rum

Puncheon rum (or puncheon) is a high proof heavy-type rum produced in Trinidad and Tobago. Three local brands, Forres Park, Caroni and Stallion produce bottles that are 75% alcohol by volume. The first puncheon rum is said to have been manufactured in 1627 by the makers of Caroni Puncheon Rum.[1] The first distillation of rum took place on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean in the 17th century.[2] Plantation slaves first discovered that molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process, can be fermented into alcohol.

Approach with care!

Vat19 Rum

Two popular rums drunk in the Trinidad and Tobago either straight or with a chaser are Vat 19 white and gold. This is a mellow rum of good quality ideal for either drinking or cooking.

Vat19.whitefernandes-vat-19-rum-trinidad-435498

White rum is traditionally the rum used to make cocktails, but if you are using a chaser like coke or cocunut water then a dark rum is preferable. When making fruit cakes or creole cake for Christmas or a punche -crema/ egg -nog then a dark rum is the best choice.

Part II _ Recipes….

Roti ~ Love from Our Indian Community

Origins of Roti in Trinidad and Tobago:

Roti

Roti is generally an Indian bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is also consumed in parts of South Africa, the southern Caribbean, particularly in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname, and Fiji. Its defining characteristic is that it is unleavened. Indian naan bread, by contrast, is a yeast-leavened bread. (Wiki)

Gary Rhodes Recipe for Roti:

Potato-roti6

http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/613962

Various types of roti, are integral to Indian and Pakistani cuisine.[2][3]

* Sada Roti: Similar to naan. It is cooked on a tava, therefore the bottom is not crisp like that of a naan. Because it is the easiest one to make, it is the most commonly consumed roti in Trinidad. It is a popular breakfast option in Trinidad, in combination with tomato choka, baigan choka (aubergine/eggplant/melongene), and other vegetable dishes.

* Paratha Roti: A roti made with butter, usually ghee. It is cooked on a tava. Oil is rubbed on both sides, then it is fried. This gives the roti a crisp outside. When it almost finished cooking, the cook begins to beat the roti while it is on the tava, causing it to crumble. It is also called ‘Buss-Up-Shut’ because it resembles a ‘burst up shirt’.

* Dosti Roti: A roti where two layers are rolled out together and cooked on the tava. It is also rubbed with oil while cooking. It is called dosti roti because the word dosti means friendship in Hindi. This type of roti is not made in Guyana.

* Dhalpuri: A roti with a stuffing of ground yellow split peas, cumin (geera), garlic, and pepper. The split peas are boiled until they are al dente and then ground in a mill. The cumin is toasted until black and also ground. The stuffing is pushed into the roti dough, and sealed. When rolled flat, the filling is distributed within the roti. It is cooked on the tava and rubbed with oil for ease of cooking. This is the most popular roti. Another version of this is aloopuri, which is made from potatoes.

Check out this wonderful device for making rotis!

Carnival and Street Food!

Carnival is just around the corner in Trinidad and Tobago and eating and drinking is a fun part of the experience. Most Trinis will be eating a veritable feast of treats, but most important will be a wide range of street food, like this corn soup being eaten below.

Have a read of the some of the dos and don’t of partaking in street food:

  

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/featured-news/Carnival_and_food_safety-113857444.html

Street Food- Doubles

One of the most popular and delicious street foods is doubles, a mouth-watering, more-ish vegetarian dish made from chickpeas and two fluffy puris. If it looks a holy mess, don’t be put off, the taste is divine…and you won’t stop at one!

  

The origins of this food began in Trinidad by the Deen family, Emamool Deen (a.k.a. Mamoodeen) and his wife Rasulan in 1936 in Princes Town. When Mamudeen started the business the products he sold were fried channa wrapped in cone-shaped packs. He diversified his product line soon after by adding boiled and fried chana, then curried channa with chutney. He then introduced a single bara with the curried channa. His customers would ask him to double the bara, hence the name “doubles” evolved and Deen’s Doubles became the pioneering brand.

As the demand for Deen’s Doubles increased, Mamoodeen employed his two brothers-in-law, Asgar Ali and Choate Ali to sell Deen’s Doubles in 1937. The Ali brothers launched their own Ali’s doubles brand in 1938. Asgar Ali chose San Fernando for his sales district and Naparima College in particular as his historical starting point. Choate Ali remained in Princes Town while Mamudeen expanded to San Juan and Port of Spain. (Read the rest on Wiki)

Recipes

If you are living abroad and craving a doubles here is a wonderful recipe to get you going.

http://www.food.com/recipe/trini-doubles-caribbean-fried-dough-and-chickpea-sandwiches-232226

Q: What’s your favourite street food and from what part of the world is it from?

Spices of the Caribbean I ~Pepper Sauce

Peppersorangeredgreenyellowblackhot

Ah feelin hot, hot, hot!!

One of the main ingredients to spicing up West Indian food is the pepper sauce. Here is a basic recipe to get you going. Remember peppers/ chillis are very hot so protect your hands, and do not rub eyes, face etc after handling peppers.

Here are some of the peppers of the Caribbean…

  • Scotch Bonnet

  • These peppers are used to flavour many different dishes and cuisines worldwide and are often used in hot sauces and condiments. The Scotch bonnet has a sweeter flavour and stouter shape, distinct from its habanero cousin with which it is often confused, and gives jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavour. Scotch bonnets are mostly used in West African, Grenadian, Trinidadian, Jamaican, Barbadian, Guyanese, Surinamese, Haitian and Caymanian cuisine and pepper sauces, though they often show up in other Caribbean recipes.
  • Fresh, ripe scotch bonnets change from green to colours ranging from yellow to scarlet red. Ripe peppers are prepared for cooking by those who cannot handle the sharp heat by cutting out the area around the seeds inside the fruit, which holds most of the heat. The seeds can be saved for cultivation or other culinary uses.
  • Scorpion Pepper

Image

  • The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T variety pepper was for a short amount of time ranked as the most pungent (“hot”) pepper in the world, according to Guinness World Records in 2011.[4][5] A laboratory test conducted in March 2011 measured a specimen of Scorpions at 1,463,700 Scoville heat units, officially ranking it the hottest pepper in the world at that time.[6] The pungency of a species of chili pepper can vary by up to a factor of 10 depending on the conditions under which the specimen grew. The secret to the heat, according to the creators, is fertilizing the soil with liquid runoff of a worm farm. According to the New Mexico State University‘s Chile Pepper Institute (the only international, non-profit scientific organization devoted to education and research related to Capsicum or chile peppers), the distinction of world’s most piquant pepper currently belongs to the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.[7]
  • The Scorpions are so hot that, in order to cook with it, the pepper’s cultivators have to wear chemical masks and body suits, and reported feelings of numbness in their hands for more than two days afterwards. [8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinidad_Scorpion_Butch_T_pepper

  • Bird Pepper

Red-and-green-chilies

Pequin (or Piquin) pepper (pronunciation: pee/puh-KEEN) is a hot chile pepper cultivar commonly used as a spice. Taxonomically, it is classified within variety glabriusculum of the species Capsicum annuum.[1]

  • Pequin has a compact habit growing typically 0.3–0.6 meters tall, with bright green, ovate leaves and small fruits that rarely exceed 2 cm in length. Like most chiles, fruits start out green, ripening to brilliant red at maturity. Pequin peppers are very hot, often 13–40 times hotter than jalapeños on the Scoville scale (100,000–140,000 units). Flavor is described as citrusy, smoky (if dried with wood smoke), and nutty.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pequin_pepper

“One Book to Rule them All!”

http://www.uncommoncaribbean.com/2010/11/22/taste-of-the-caribbean-naparima-girls-h-s-cookbook-updated-revised-edition/

http://www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/the-naparima-girls-high-school-cookbook/

Whenever I speak to friends this cookbook comes up as a real definitive in Caribbean cooking. Read the post from Uncommon Caribbean …worth every penny!

Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook

What is your favourite Carribean cookbook and why?