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Friday, September 16, 2005

An Introduction To Hot West Indian Food

North Americans and Europeans have been introduced to many other cultures and cuisines over the years. First come the people, then the cuisine. As with most new cuisines, we start by trying out a snack, then graduate to a dish, then full blown meals. Early in this decade, there were some restaurant industry experts that I heard saying that Jamaican/ West Indian food would be one of the hottest new cuisines this decade, at least in North America.

The West Indies is what Christoper Columbus really discovered, thinking it was India. West Indian food, which covers the similar cuisines of several countries that are considering to belong Central America, is a wonderful blend of African, East Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and many other cuisines. Much of it is very spicy. The theory is it that spicy food induces a sweat and thus keeps you in cool in a hot climate like the West Indies.

Despite the prediction of some food industry pundits, most North Americans are only familiar with Jamaican patties, those savoury baked half-moon-shaped minced meat pies with the flaky yellow crust. These are popular enough that they are sold in shops and cafes now for several decades, whether or not the business is run by West Indians. Another popular dish, in larger cities, is jerk chicken. The meat is simmered for hours and just falls off the bone.

But West Indian food isn't just Jamaican patties and jerk chicken. There are lots of other delicious dishes that I hope to introduce you to in future posts. I'll have a recipe for Roti, an absolutely tasty comfort food that is basically spicy vegetable or meat stuffed into a wrapper - similar to the Mexican tortilla. Come back often for more spicy food talk.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://chilimonster.blogspot.com

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