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Thread: West Indian Food page

  1. #1
    Lewis's Avatar
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    West Indian Food

    Primal Fuel
    Short preamble:

    Something I'd read came back to me today. It was by a man who'd been on Grenada when the Cubans invaded. Anyway, he'd said it was interesting to see how much larger and healthier the locals were than the Cubans troops. His comment on the islanders:

    Apollo tends the fields round here
    - tall, broad-shouldered, slim-waisted men. By contrast the Cubans were short and pot-bellied. IIRC, he attributed this to the local diet being protein-rich, and the Cuban diet being starkly inadequate with staples such as rice and beans and bread and tomatoes.

    I think it's interesting to reflect just how many observations of this sort there are in odd places. One has to wonder why people in what's currently the mainstream of the "health" and "diet" professions - including, sadly, even many doctors - keep missing them. If they read them, somehow it doesn't register.

    Foods:

    Does anyone know more about traditional West Indian foods? I'd guess these would vary from island to island, and all I know is very general. I know salt-cod is imported and a range of dishes made from that; I've known West Indians who liked goat curry; I think there's a lot of fresh seafood available, and plenty of seasonal vegetables, limes, chillies. I also recall that the sprinter Linford Christie said his amazing running was powered by a traditional West Indian breakfast, which he said consisted of bacon and eggs and fried plantain. This all sounds good to me. So does the rum - but maybe not the red stripe lager.

    I did once see part of one episode of a series on West Indian cuisine by a bloke called Levi (as in the jeans - and the prophet). Unfortunately, I missed the rest. His stuff looked good. If primal in Mark's sense is "fresh produce, heavy on the meat and veg, some fruit", then it was fairly primal. Spicy, too. The only dodgy thing was his puddings which were sugar-monster blowouts. But maybe this is a chefly thing - maybe chefs think they have to do super-sweet puds.

    Anyway, does anyone know a bit more about the cooking over there? Has anyone got any good recipes from that part of the world.

  2. #2
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    I don't know anything about it, but you might have more luck by looking for references to Caribbean or Jamaican cooking, because I don't think those islands are really referred to anymore as the West Indies, are they?

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    Both my parents are from the Caribbean and West Indian food is pretty primal tbh. The only non-primal traditional dishes off the top of my head is rice and peas (which are both traditionally soaked), macaroni cheese and coconut bread. My dad told me growing up that he never had rice that wasn't cooked in coconut milk/cream.

    Tubers and starchy fruit/veg are also used quite a bit. There are white yams, sweet potatoes (my mum always buys the ones with purplish skins which are yellow inside - I think Americans call them yams) and breadfruit.

    There is a little difference in food island to island, but staples like coconut, salted cod, sea food, red meat and chicken are mostly there.

    I do love Caribbean food, my mum does a great mutton curry.

    P.S. People do still call it the West Indies
    Last edited by muaythaimike; 09-26-2010 at 09:09 AM.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonmamma View Post
    I don't know anything about it, but you might have more luck by looking for references to Caribbean or Jamaican cooking, because I don't think those islands are really referred to anymore as the West Indies, are they?
    I agree....at first I thought the post was referencing regional Indian cuisine, say from Mumbai or Goa!
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

  5. #5
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muaythaimike View Post
    Both my parents are from the Caribbean and West Indian food is pretty primal tbh. The only non-primal traditional dishes off the top of my head is rice and peas (which are both traditionally soaked), macaroni cheese and coconut bread. My dad told me growing up that he never had rice that wasn't cooked in coconut milk/cream.

    Tubers and starchy fruit/veg are also used quite a bit. There are white yams, sweet potatoes (my mum always buys the ones with purplish skins which are yellow inside - I think Americans call them yams) and breadfruit.

    There is a little difference in food island to island, but staples like coconut, salted cod, sea food, red meat and chicken are mostly there.

    I do love Caribbean food, my mum does a great mutton curry.

    P.S. People do still call it the West Indies
    Thanks, Mike. I think I'm going to have to look out for a good recipe book.

    I just went to Amazon and started typing "west indian" and it immediately suggested "west indian cooking" and then gave 490 results.

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    I think traditional west indian cooking is pretty primal as has been said. Unfortunately that's been replaced very effectively by mac-cheese, lots of rice dishes and lots of deep fried potato things. Obesity and diabetes are a huge issue in the caribbean and in the three years I was in BVI it was the worst place I'd lived for availability of healthful fresh foods.

    I'd get googling recipes and pick your shots using your primal knowledge as the flavours are great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tai haku View Post
    I think traditional west indian cooking is pretty primal as has been said. Unfortunately that's been replaced very effectively by mac-cheese, lots of rice dishes and lots of deep fried potato things. Obesity and diabetes are a huge issue in the caribbean and in the three years I was in BVI it was the worst place I'd lived for availability of healthful fresh foods.

    I'd get googling recipes and pick your shots using your primal knowledge as the flavours are great!
    Yeah you are right the cuisine is become more westernised which is a shame, but traditionally the people would have eaten good, fresh food. The West Indies is very influenced by the US.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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    I do not have an answer this but would like to know more
    http://readytoeat/indian_food.html

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    I've just bought one of Levi Roots books, 'Food for Friends' ISBN: 978 1 84533 5267. I didn't see the series but the book looks to have lots of Primal type recipies, can't wait to try some.

    Limepurple

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    Primo west Indian food: Greater Antilles, not Lesser Antilles, but pretty much the same thing.


    El Boricua.com Recipes Recetas Puerto Rico

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    Tayatha om bekandze

    Bekandze maha bekandze

    Randza samu gate soha

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