Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Ambarella - also called Golden Apple - is an exotic fruit which can be found in all tropical countries but especially in the Caribbean. Ambarella is similar to the mango, it is sweet and can be either eaten raw or used to prepare juices and syrup. Check out our slide presentation of Ambarella.
Friday, 24 May 2013
You now know the difference between White and Dark rum but do you know what rhum agricole is? If not, this blog post is for you!
Rhum Agricole is the French term for "cane juice rum", which is distilled in the French West Indies islands from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice rather than from molasses. Cane juice rums are sometimes also found in Trinidad, Panama and the Dominican Republic.As you know now, most rums are made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining.
In the sugar cane spirits industry, only rums from Martinique can carry the label "AOC Rhum Agricole". AOC literally means "Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée" (protected designation of origin). It is a sign of recognition from French and European laws for rums produced on the island of Martinique that meet certain local standards.
In addition to its different production process, Rhum Agricole has also a different taste. It is often light-bodied and tends to have a beautiful scent, with fruity aromas such as bananas, passion fruit or similar fruits. Matured distillates of course absorb scents from the casks, sometimes creating lovely mixtures of vanilla, coffee and chocolate aromas.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Blimbing (also called Bilimbi) is a exotic fruit which can be found on all tropical continents. Due to its acidity, Blimbing is usually used for preparing vinegar or chutney.
Click here to discover Blimbing.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Rum is a spirit made from both fermented sugar cane and by-products such as molasses by the processes of fermentation and distillation. The majority of the world's rum production occurs in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Rum is most commonly available as white rum, gold rum, and dark rum. As previously stated the amount of time the rum is aged and the type of cask it is aged in, determines the color of the rum. There are also some differences in the taste and uses of the different rums.
White rum (also called silver or light) is more popular in Spanish speaking countries. It is fermented in steel and filtered and has a clear colour and a light, slightly sweet taste. This milder flavour makes them popular to use in mixed drinks as opposed to be drunk straight as the dark rum.
Rich, caramel dark rum (also called red or black) more common in English speaking countries is made by aging clear rum in charred oak barrels, giving it a deep brown colour and a full flavour. It is usually drank straight and used for cooking. They come mostly from Martinique, Jamaica, and Haiti, as well as Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Note that spiced rum, which is flavoured with spices and (often) caramel, is not qualify as dark rum.
Gold or amber rums are aged in oak, which produces a more caramel colour and richer, more pronounced flavour.
To see our selection of rum visit Carib Gourmet
Monday, 13 May 2013
Soursop is a tropical fruit native to South and Central America and the Caribbean. The flesh is white, sweet and sour. It is eaten raw when fully ripped. Soursop is also used to make delicious juice, jam and even confectioneries. Check out our presentation of Soursop and see how you can use it.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
A good subtitle for this blog post would be: "The day a Guadeloupe expat sees a meaningful film shot on her native island."
For me to travel all the way to west london, there must have been a good reason. The reason was a showing of "Elza" or "Le Bonheur d'Elza" as it is in its original title. The film didn't fail to disappoint.
I arrived at Ciné Lumiere in South Kensington slightly belated. (I have an excuse: sun in London isn't a regular occurence so I HAD to have a picnic that day in my village i.e Greenwich). I couldn't bring food in the theatre and thought "bummer how is a non-stop eating Carib Gourmet going to survive." But I digress.
The plot was very mysterious, my imagination drifted and I initially thought there was a story of incest involving the grandad and his grand daughter, and you could physically feel the discomfort portrayed by the characters. I loved the hazy feel, the anxiety, the tension... The duality of the characters, their vulnerability and the internal turmoil.
A young woman born in Guadeloupe but raised in Paris goes back to her native island to find the father she only has distant souvenirs of. She wants to meet him, make him love her and tell her she's beautiful. She wants her father.
The father a somewhat mixed raced man, that has scattered child across the small (1500km2), enjoys entertaining adulterous relationships with gorgeous dark skninned women - including his bankers wife - yet reject his African heritage by showing no love to his matte skinned daughter, refuses custody to his other daughter's partner and father of grand daughter Caroline on the basis that his "too dark". His beloved fair-skinned daughter is in a mental instituion due to the pressure she felt from he rfather and the fact she forbid her to see a lover, the previously mentionned "too dark man". Mr Désiré says things like "with kinky hair like yours, there's NO WAY you could be my daughter!"The entire film one awaits the moment the secret will be revealed.
Although the movie is about Elza and her quest to find her identity, my favourite character is this ambivalent, oh so tortured man, Mr Desiré. He represents the duality inherent to most Caribbean natives: the stigma of slavery and colonialism, the self hatred many experience in different manners, the difficulty of upholding standards in such a micro-environment, the womanising aspect of the culture, the difficulty of being a good father and the loneliness...
I felt understood by watching this film. Although it isn't my story it reflected the environment I grew up in. The Q & A sessions after the showing revealed even more sentiments of inadequacy from the audience who I think probably was not comfortable enough in their skin to witness the telling of a story just for the sake of it. No mandate and no masterplan to diminish the women pertening to what they called the "darker hue" which I actually found quite diminishing as a statement anyway.
It just felt really good to see my island, my culture depicted in a different manner (as in not just a paradise-like, everyone-happy-drinking-rum-and-dancing-zouk type of portrayal). It was good quality cinema, I feel we should see more of these initiatives. Not specifically made to revendicate, lobby or fall into communitarism but just narrate the accounts of characters who happen to be based in the Caribbean and fall into a plot that happens to be tinted with local issues pertaining to their location. I don't understand why there can be so many amazing books by awfully talented Caribbean authors, yet films are such rare commodities and so underrated. I guess it comes down to the nerve of wars (that a frenglicism): the dough, the quids, the MONEY!
|Vanessa with director Mariette Monpierre|
Mariette Monpierre encourages the youth to take up their iPhone and start filming saying "if you want to tell a story, don't wait for funds, just do it."I salute Mariette for taking up your cross, making herself vulnerable by baring her feelings and some of her story for all to see (the film is partly autobiographical). She provided great entertainment in a lukewarm London Bank Holiday Monday night. After the microphone is off and the questions are answered, that's all it, pure and simple - although very enjoyable and refreshing - entertainment.
I will be taking up my cross too!
Monday, 6 May 2013
Chayote is an exotic fruit native to Mexico and Central America. It is usually cooked and served with seasonning. Discover Chayotte here.
To know more exotic fruits, follow us on facebook and visit Carib Gourmet