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Grenada - Cooking and Food
Overview of Grenadian Cuisine History
The history of Grenada dates back to the early 1600’s. The majority of Grenadian inhabitants are employed in agriculture as estate workers or small farmers. The most common exported crops are mace, cocoa and nutmeg. In the northern part of Grenada, a solar-powered chocolate factory has developed. Lately, China and the United States brought here genetically-engineered crops, but most Grenadian people plant those crops in the traditional way. Being a « Isle of Spice », it is considered that Grenadian cuisine uses many spices, bay leaves, nutmegs, capsicum, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and clove. The most popular dishes are those based on Chicken, fish, crab and callaloo, curry rice, and fresh vegetables and fruits.
Grenadian cuisine has been influenced by French, Britain, African and West Indian cuisine. A Grenadian stew is usually served with rice and exotic or tropical vegetables, but the Grenadian national dish is « ile dung » or oil down and it consists of dasheen leaves, breadfruit, root vegetables, and salt Pork, all steamed in coconut milk and spices. Local menus include dishes like stewed Pork and Beef, stewed fish, as well as black pudding and salt fish souse. Grenadian vegetables and fruits include potatoes, tannia, eddoe, yam, plantains, and bananas. Other side dishes contain christophene which is a pear-shaped vegetable, and coocoo made from corn. Grenadian farine is eaten most of the times with pig souse or salt fish cakes.
Preparation Methods for Grenadian Cooking
Grenadian cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbours and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Grenadian cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Grenadian cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential - either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Grenada is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Grenada's regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Grenadian dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.
Special Equipment for Grenadian Cooking
Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Grenadian cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Grenadian dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Grenadian food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".
Grenadian Food Traditions and Festivals
Most of the Grenadian festivals have religious roots. Of course, the most important holiday is Christmas, followed by New Year’s Day, Easter Day, Corpus Christi, Independence Day, Labour Day, Emancipation Day, Thanksgiving and Boxing Day. On these occasions, the Grenadians from rural regions prepare and serve wide quantities of food, drinking, dancing and enjoying themselves. The International Food and Drink festival is held in March when people can try foods belonging to all the nationalities that live in Grenada. The Spice Jazz festival in another special occasion for the Grenadian people, and not only, to witness music, art, foods and crafts demonstrations that are unique to Grenada.
People in Grenadian Food
- Are you into Grenadian Cooking and would like to be interviewed?
There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Grenadian dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Grenadian chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Grenadian chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.