BAHAMIAN JOHNNY CAKE (BREAD)

BAHAMIAN JOHNNY CAKE (BREAD)

On many of the islands of the Bahamas – also known to the inhabitants of the Capital New Providence as the ‘Family Islands’ farming and fishing we the way of life. In many cases the farms were sometimes a days journey away and fishermen were gone for weeks. So this bread-cake was prepared for sustenance along the journey. It is believed that over the years its name evolved to what we now call ‘Johnny Cake’ or ‘Johnny Bread’. But its use and enjoyment remain the same.

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BAHAMIAN BAKED STUFFED CRABS

BAHAMIAN BAKED STUFFED CRABS

My fondest memories of eating these scrumptious appetizers are when I would spend my summer vacations in Nassau with my grandparents. Every summer during the evening Bahamians young, old and in between converged on Bay Street for Goombay Summer; a festival of Bahamian food, music, art and of course Junkanoo in the streets. My grandmother had a food stall and she would have the most awesome display of Bahamian cuisine I had ever seen and as her helper I would get paid in baked stuffed crabs, fried fish and coconut tart.

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BAHAMIAN MANGO GUACAMOLE

BAHAMIAN MANGO GUACAMOLE

I’m not sure how they got to the Bahamas or when, but avocado or “pear” as they are so fondly called are everywhere and we love them. So to combine them with mangoes is just one of many combinations. This recipe is a hit for any party.

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BAHAMAS SPICY MANGO SUMMER ROLLS WITH SOY GINGER DIPPING SAUCE

BAHAMAS SPICY MANGO SUMMER ROLLS WITH SOY

GINGER DIPPING SAUCE

What do Summer and mangos have in common the Bahamas. This light and tropical appetizer is a great hit at the parties and will make your vegetarian and vegan friends feel right at home.

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BAHAMIAN CONCH FRITTERS

BAHAMIAN CONCH FRITTERS

 

Ah Conch, our pearl of the sea. Pronounced (kun’k) this muscle of the sea lives in a shell spun from the granules of sand it processes during its life, thus the pink and pearly whites. Said to be an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant it is believed to be the cause for the large families our grand parents amassed. A delicacy for sure its succulent meat is craved no matter how it is prepared.

 

I remember as a child spending the summer at my grandparents in Nassau. And I could never understand why mama would have orange rind and this smelly thing hanging from the kitchen window. Then one day I got up the nerve to ask what it was. “Conch“ she said, “Dry conch (cured), I’m going to use that to make soup and conch fritters”. Man, even as I think about it today I’m salivating. To use the cured conch it must be soaked in water over night, then boiled to tenderize. Because of its concentrated and potent flavour, cured conch need not be used in the same quantity as fresh conch.

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