Friday, August 19, 2011

Dominica Nature island of the Caribbean

Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-eek-a) sits midway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, just a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. Its location is 15 degrees North latitude and 61 degrees West longitude. The island’s official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica, which is mostly referenced in official communiqué and to distinguish the island from its northerly Caribbean sister, the Dominican Republic. The indigenous Carib Indians named the island Waitukubuli which means “tall is her body” in the carib language. The island is sparsely populated with around 70,000 people inhabiting its 289.5 square miles. A significant portion of the population lives in and around the capital city, Roseau. Dominica is an arcadia of unspoiled nature. Tropical forest coats two thirds of the island, which nourishes 1,200 plant species. Rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls abound, fed by the islands high annual rainfall. Its volcanic physique points to extensive geothermal activity above and below sea level. Our Morne Trois Pitons National Park was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Caribbean. The island is one of only a couple in the Caribbean still with populations of the pre-Columbian Carib Indians. About 80% of the population is Roman Catholic. English is the official language, spoken with a melodic French lilt, but a large portion of the population speaks Creole. Dominica is called the nature island of the Caribbean and is home to some of the regions most fabulous tropical flora, tropical birds with waterfalls and rivers flowing through the islands cloud cover mountain make’s it a haven for hikers. The island is also home to the world largest endangered turtle the leather back who lay their eggs each year on the islands southeastern shores. Dominica is also known as the whale watching capital of the Caribbean, due to its underwater volcanic formation and rich marine life with exceptional diving and snorkeling it is truly a nature lovers paradise. Due to Dominica’s rich volcanic soil it is an island that is covered with natural edible foods, from mangoes in various shapes and sizes, bananas, plantain, breadfruit, citrus fruits, avocados and coconuts. The forests and rivers still provide wild meats, river fish, and crustaceans, that are no longer found on more of the developed islands.These all come together to create the island local cuisine with dishes, such as Dominican Frog leg’s, Stuffed crab back’s,Creole crayfish, and Titira Ackra. Expect to have your taste buds truly satisfied with it’s scrumptious cuisine.

Dominica Coconut Tablet( or Sugar cake)

1 Cup sugar 1 Cup 4 Cups grated Coconut 1teaspoon Vanilla extract 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon Grated fresh nutmeg In a heavy saucepan bring to boil sugar and water until sugar is dissolved and a light syrup is formed. Add Coconut and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken, lower heat and cook until the mixture begins to pull from the sides of the pan. Add vanilla extract and spices. Remove saucepan from the heat and beat mixture with a wooden spoon for 5-6 minutes. Using a medium spoon drop mixture in small quantities unto a greased baking sheet. Allow to cool and set, Makes 12- 14 Cakes

Written by Freda Gore
Caribbean Culinary Tours

Monday, August 8, 2011

Aruba Culinary Delights

On Aruba, the abundance, full flavor and diversity of cuisines prepared by world-class chefs; fine international wines; casual, elegant, al fresco and creative ambiances, and attentive service combine to create very special dining experiences.
The high-rise strip is now home to over 100 Aruba resorts and independent restaurants. This bustling area is dotted with an eclectic patchwork of shops, malls, cafes and restaurants. But do venture downtown which is not only getting a major makeover but attracting a host of luxury retailers and exciting new restaurants. Off the beaten path, you will also discover local favorites and trendy new establishments. No matter where you go, you will find unique menus of delicious ethnic and international fare.
Classic delicacies such as frogs’ legs, duck, venison, foie gras and chateaubriand join fresh Caribbean catch such as mahi-mahi and wahoo, Argentinean churrasco, Middle Eastern shoarma, Japanese sushi and teppanyaki selections, Spanish tapas, Indian curries, Caribbean jerk ribs, homemade pastas, USDA choice steaks, Maine lobster and local goat stew and keshi yena. Indeed, the tiny island nation of Aruba provides an impressive world culinary tour rivaling the most cosmopolitan of cities.
With so many restaurants to choose from, both in walking distance as well as accessible by taxi, rental car and bus, Aruba is a foodie’s paradise!
If you are a food lover, it would be worthwhile to plan your trip around the Aruba Culinary Festival. Presented by the Aruba Gastronomic Association and Divi Resorts, the Aruba Culinary Festival takes place on the first Monday of every month beginning February 2011 at the scenic outdoor plaza at Divi Links (below Mulligan's). Taste the delicious signature dishes of AGA restaurants and fine international wines. Local artists and artisans and live music add an authentic Aruban touch.
Your Aruba all inclusive vacation will undoubtedly be an unforgettable journey not only for the amazing views and culture, but also because of the new foods!