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Did you know….
Caribbean cuisine echoes the culinary influences of Africa, France, Spain, India, Holland and Asia; in these water-soaked, tropical locales, fresh fruits and vegetables make up a large portion of the Caribbean diet. Caribbean food includes all of your favorites; seafood, chicken and steak, prepared with the flavorful and colorful ingredients of the Islands.
The Arawak, Carib, and Taino “Indians” were the first inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands. Their daily diet consisted of vegetables and fruits such as papaya, yams, guavas, and cassava. The Taino started the process of cooking meat and fish in large clay pots. The Carib Indians introduced spices and lemon juice to their meat and fish recipes. The Caribbean Sea was named after this tribe, who are said to have prepared the first pepper pot stew.
Once the Europeans brought African slaves into the region, the Caribbean became the crossroads to the world. The slaves’ diet consisted mostly of food the slave owners did not want to eat. So the slaves had to be inventive, and they blended their traditional African foods with staples found on the islands. The Africans introduced okra, callaloo, fish cakes, saltfish, ackee, pudding and mangos, to name a few. Presently, most Caribbean Island natives eat a diet that is reflective of these main ingredients found in original African dishes.
After slavery was abolished, the Europeans went to India and China for labor, and more cooking styles were introduced. The Chinese introduced rice and mustard, and the early Portuguese sailors introduced the popular codfish. Spain introduced fruit trees such as orange, ginger, plantains, figs, date palms, sugar cane, grapes, tamarinds and coconuts, and The Americas are responsible for introducing beans, corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and chili pepper. Foods served in the Caribbean islands have been influenced by the cultures of the world, but each island adds its own special flavor and cooking technique.(phillyreef.com)
Back a Yard – San Jose, Ca
OxTails, Fried Chicken Wings, Collard Greens
If you like Jamaican, Caribbean or Soul Food then you need to buckle your seats and be prepared to witness a phenomenon of utmost satisfaction..
Cuisine that will fulfill every nasty and disgusting desire you may have.
The Cream of the Crop..
The Mona Lisa..
I’m talking a restaurant that has a menu pleasing to the eye and such great flavor that it is also pleasing to the soul.
I’m talking about a restaurant sitting in the heart of downtown San Jose called Back a Yard!
Let’s talk about it..
First let me just say that I don’t want to undercut them at all by only mentioning their Oxtail dish.
I tried their wings and their collard greens as well and both were super good!
The Oxtails were so good that I don’t want anything taking up the glory it deserves.
When I arrived I looked at the menu and it has every man’s soul food desire.
Ribs, cornbread, collard greens, fried catfish, sweet potato pudding and of course Oxtails!!
My Mom recently started making a Oxtail stew about a year back and it has been a favorite dish of mine ever since.
I am sure glad my Mom wasn’t eating with us tonight because it is definitely so good that I would have had to apologize for slapping her.
I order the Oxtails with an ice cold Big Daddy IPA brew and anxiously await my plate to arrive.
I hear the steps of a waitress with a golden fleece of a dish in her hands approaching my table.
This gourmet model is placed in front of me with all kinds of oxtails swimming in a dark brown mole looking sauce of goodness.
I take my first bite and…
Flavor so big you would think King Kong meat was in it!!
Now I dive into the rice…
Beans and rice with coconut flavor that makes your head spin!
I need another bite.. I need another fix.. I need more.. MORE..MORE!!!
What a great experience!!
If you have never tasted Caribbean food then I suggest you do so quick fast and in a hurry. I promise you that you won’t regret it!
Thanks for joining me on today’s adventure! I look forward to seeing you on the next run! Keep hope alive!
Eating is an enjoyable way of life. Live it..Learn it..Love it!
Trevis Dampier Sr.
Origins of Caribbean Food Retrieved from http://phillyreef.com/origins-of-caribbean-food/