Who doesn’t love a deliciously tasty Carribean dish? Feel free to splash out and fly to the Turks and Caicos for all these fine fiery flavas or, if time’s tight, just take the train to Blackpool, says Joe Shooman.
One of the quintessential Caribbean street foods. The jerk powder or marinade varies between chefs, of course, with each cook looking to put his or her own stamp on the Jamaican-inspired dish. Seasonings may include allspice, thyme, pepper, local herbs, garlic, cayenne, salt and often but not always the scotch bonnet chilli, which adds a fiery citrus side. Try Lark Lane’s Raggas Liverpool.
Never call it ‘goat curry,’ or ‘curried goat,’ or you’ll be pegged as a tourist immediately and spared the real gnarly, slow-cooked spectacular over the coconut milk-and-kidney-bean-tastic rice and peas. In general, this Caribbean-via-India dish has a turmeric-heavy curry sauce that varies in heat. We hear that The Caribbean Takeaway in Manchester does an extremely decent version.
Trinidad and Tobago’s cuisine is heavily influenced by Indian cuisine, with the simple flatbread-based Doubles prime example. The name comes from the fact that two flat, fried breads are used to hold a fragrant, filling and wonderfully moreish curry of chickpeas plus a fruity salad and the lip-smackingly moreish tang of tamarind. Manchester’s Caribbean Flavas can sort you on this one.
As the magnificent song, Rum and Roti, by Patch and The Mastermind rightly says, “When they drink the rum, they just wanna eat roti. Aloo and channa, mix up with some curry.” A sort of kebab variation, with the starch provided by unleavened wholemeal flatbread (often a paratha) topped with a host of ingredients meats or veggies. Try Roti & Boti, Manchester.
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The Jamaican equivalent of the good old pasty is by contrast a hammer of flavour. The pastry is usually a bright yellow due to its turmeric content and like the pasty has various fillings. These include scotch bonnets, beef, chicken and sometimes fish, depending on which area of the country they hail from.
Try Fred Star African Caribbean Supermarket, 8 King Street, Blackpool.
Meanwhile, in Barbados, the area of Oistins Bay Gardens is a riot of arts, crafts and food stalls geared toward cooking up the freshest fish known to man. On any given Friday you’ll be able to grab a quick and flavourful plate of mahi-mahi (known locally as ‘dolphin,’ but worry not), flying fish, tuna and whatever’s been swimming around that day. Turtle Bay in Manchester can sort ya.
Raw fish is ‘cooked’ with lime juice, which breaks down the proteins, served with cold salad of whatever is to hand, including scallions, peppers, shredded callaloo, festival (fried sweet batter) and chilli. We once had the pleasure of being served hand-caught conch ceviche on a dive boat five minutes after the shellfish had been plucked from the Caribbean Sea. Extraordinary.
Lleyn Peninsula’s Soul Food, Harlech.