By Ann Vanderhoof
Whereas crusing round the Caribbean, Ann Vanderhoof and her husband Steve tune wild oregano-eating goats within the cactus-covered hills of the Dominican Republic, assemble nutmegs on an previous property in Grenada, make searing-hot pepper sauce in a Trinidadian kitchen, cram for a chocolate-tasting attempt on the college of the West Indies, and sip moonshine instantly out of hidden back-country stills.Along the best way, they're befriended via a suite of unforgettable island characters: Dwight, the skin-diving fisherman who continually brings them anything from his seize and evaluations her efforts to prepare dinner it; Greta, who harvests seamoss on St. Lucia and turns it into powerful Island-Viagra; sweet-hand Pat, who dispenses hugs and impromptu dance classes besides cooking counsel in her Port of Spain kitchen. again in her galley, Ann practices making curry like a Trini, puppy sauce like a Martiniquais, and coo-coo like a Carriacouan. And in case you are looking to take those adventures into their very own kitchens, she pulls seventy one scrumptious recipes from the tales she tells, which she areas on the finish of the appropriate chapters. The Spice Necklace is a superb break out right into a existence packed with sunshine (and hurricanes), scrumptious meals, irreplaceable corporation, and island traditions.
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Extra info for The spice necklace: My adventures in Caribbean cooking, eating, and island life
I can feel Steve doing his trademark rolling of the eyes behind me. No, they don’t generally milk the goats, Caito explains, so they can have a self-sustaining herd. ” “But we do occasionally make a sweet from goat’s milk,” Moreno says. He will be happy to milk one goat the next morning, so Caito can bring us dulce de leche de chiva. “This must have been what Jaime was talking about,” I whisper delightedly to Steve, certain that my quest is ending. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be so. The next morning, Caito returns from the hills dulce-de-leche-less: Moreno had to head off early to tend to a sick animal, and didn’t have time for the milking and making.
Sure, his rate is almost double that of some other drivers, but the extra is just the price of the language, culture and culinary lessons we’re given en route. Although rail-thin, Jaime can be trusted when it comes to eating. He takes us to our favorite local cheesemaker to buy tangy, fresh queso de hoja, and explains that, for the best flavor, I shouldn’t refrigerate it; and to Maimon, the town outside Puerto Plata where Dominicans line up at roadside paradas to eat whole, deep-fried fish, golden and crispy and carrying more than a hint of smoke from the wood fires over which they’re the spice necklace 29 cooked.
We christen our Dominican SdS the Odalismobile, after its owner. Odalis (we never determined whether that is his first or last name) operates out of a house on Luperón’s main street, where a few unsteadily painted words on the wooden exterior are the only indication he has vehicles for rent. 45 under the front seat of another— we declined that insurance); and specializes in the vehicular equivalent of horses that are rode hard and put away wet. He is also the cheapest game in town. So we hand over a greasy mittful of pesos and head off in the Odalismobile—an overused Honda SUV with five balding tires.