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Creole Food Week and a GIVEAWAY

September 14, 2009
This is a vegan Creole Plate

This is a vegan Creole Plate

The above photo is a vegan creole plate. I used some componets of creole cooking and made this dish. The red beans and cooked creole style with Red Butter or Beurre Rouge which is entirely vegan, the avocados are the sweet rich variety that grow in the Caribbean. The rice and avocados are covered with Sauce Chien or Dog sauce( no dogs were harmed in the making of the sauce,it was made to put on “dog fish”) and, the chillis that you see are sweet peppers called Vegetarian Peppers. I  went on a little trip to one of the biggest islands in the the French West Indies for some research for Vegan in the Sun Cookbook. I managed to stuff a suitcase full of fruit and vegetables so I can show you some of them on the blog. Before I go on I know there are many geographically challenged individuals reading my blog. No need to feel embarrassed about it I am this way when it comes to some places too. The French West Indies are islands that still belong to France. Therefore the inhabitants speak French and or Creole and the currency used is the Euro. The countries that make up the FWI are Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barts (playground of the stars) and St. Martin . On these islands you can find both strong French culture like the sidewalk café selling baguettes and also very strong French or Creole cuisine. Guadeloupe is a fairly big island ( 1, 706 km squared) but it is not densely populated so one can enjoy traffic free drives in the country side without the annoyance. Guadeloupe also has high rainfall something you would not expect from the Caribbean. The high rainfall and the rich volcanic based soil gives Guadeloupe a rainforest and lush appearance and, this is the perfect environment for crops. Guadeloupe exports most of it produce to France. I was very happy to see avocados, plantains, passion fruit, breadfruit and guavas breaking down the branches of the tress there. This would make a vegan happy. The bad thing about Guadeloupe is that it is very meat loving and seafood loving. Going out to the restaurant and being vegan is just dietary suicide if u ask me. This week I will introduce many new fruits and vegetables to you and, I want to give my readers something authentic from  the French West Indies.

Guavas (Psidium guajava)

Guavas

Guavas are small round vitamin C rich fruit. They are found in Asia and Central America and the Caribbean. The interior of a guava can be pink or white depending on the variety. In the summer I got some of the white variety and now later in the year the pink variety is available now. How does it taste? I cannot help you there but I can say it is totally delicious. Guavas do not taste like any fruit I know. The seeds and skins are eaten so if you have a guava just bite into it like how you would do an organic apple. The smell of guava is very distinct and when cooking with guavas the smells pervades the atmosphere all throughout the neighbourhood. It is a wonderful smell, the type of smell that would make your grouchy neighbour smile. Guavas are used to make drinks, jellies and sorbets. See recipe below to make the drink. Guavas also make a confectionary known as Guava Cheese. Do not worry it is vegan and very delicious and you can win yourself a 12 oz package of Guava Cheese direct from the French West Indies or a bottle of Guava Jelly from Guadeloupe. I think Guava Cheese got its name from the texture of it as it is sliceable like cheese. Imagine if you had a strong jam/ preserve that was rich in taste and sliceable but not off putting like those cans of cranberry you  have at Christmas. That is how guava cheese looks.  Guava cheese can be rolled in puff pastry or shortcrust and baked. It can be mixed with vegan cream cheese and baked in a pastry. It can be chopped and added to fruit salad or used to top ice cream. See Guava Pastries below.

Guava Cheese/ Guava Paste/ Pate de Goyave

Guava Cheese Sliced

 

Guava Drink

Guava Drink

6 ripe guavas

3 tbs brown sugar

1/2 – 3/4 cup water

Method

Cut guavas in quarters (In Barbados this is called Cutting the Throat). Add guavas and water to blender. Blend until smooth. Strain in a fine strainer or cheese cloth. Dissolve sugar and served chilled.

Note this drink can get a little thick so, thin out the drink by adding some cold water or re straining it.

Tay’s Guava Cheese Bites

Guava Cheese Bites

1 sheet of short crust pastry ( home made version is half fat to flour with some tsp. of cold water

1 70 g of guava cheese sliced

sugar for dusting

Method

Roll out sheet of pastry if it is not a commercial brand you are using

Cut into 8 equal pieces. Place your guava cheese in the centre and fold to seal. Brush with water and sugar and Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Excellent for high tea. Sorry I do not drink coffee I drink tea so I find them delicious with tea.

The Giveaway

Guava Jelly for GivawayGuava Cheese

 

Finally, the giveaway where two yes two lucky winners can win a pack of guava cheese or a bottle of Guava Jelly. So what do you have to do?

1.Name a Caribbean food ingredient and the island or dish it is used in. Please do not say Pineapples or Coconuts those are way too stereotypical.Leave your answer in the comment section. If you have a blog please back link to this post so that more people can enter.

OR

2. If you honestly deep down in your brain really don’t know any answers leave a comment and I would enter you anyways because I am decent like that (just kidding)

The giveaway ends on September 18th 2009. Be sure to leave you email address  when you are filling in your answer in the comment box. Do not worry about someone stealing your answer as the ingredient can be replicated but not the dish or region. Eg. Pinapples Pinacolada, Jamaica/ Barbados e.g Coconuts- Sugarcake Barbados, Coconut Bread Trinidad/ Barbados, Coconut Turnovers Barbados.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2009 10:49 am

    Wow, a great picture of Guavas. I used to eat them all the time and haven’t had it for years since I moved to the US. Looks so good!

    The smell is distinctive and is very tropical. Most Americans do not like tropical fruit (like durian, papaya, jackfruit, etc)because of the tropical smell. To us, it smells delicious! 🙂

    How about: Scotch Bonnet Pepper/Bajan Seasoning/Guadaloupe

    Debbie

  2. Christina permalink
    September 14, 2009 10:59 am

    Wow! I had never heard about guava cheese before (but I love the juice!).
    How about St Kitts (a friend of mine used to work there) – green papaya – papaya pie. 🙂

  3. Queen permalink
    September 14, 2009 11:09 am

    I want to go to Guadalupe! The food I’m thinking of isn’t Caribbean-specific, but the dish is: cornmeal as used in cornmeal pudding from Jamaica. Love, love, love cornmeal pudding. And cornmeal porridge. And peanut porridge. Then, of course, there are plantains for fried plantains but I still do not win any points for originality there. The guava products look great!

  4. September 14, 2009 11:12 am

    Hi Taymer…I love guava. I make jam, juice, small pasteries filled with guava paste and guava paste for crackers when family & friends appear unannounced. I used to take them off my grandmother’s trees and eat them until I got the runs (5 & 6 years old)LOL!!!!. Guava is so good. This was a nice post. I just posted 2 photos sent to me from my cousin she picked the fruits on the photos from her mother’s back yard. There are guavas in the photos.

  5. September 14, 2009 12:43 pm

    Oh my god, heaven! That plate looks so good, especially since plaintains and the like are so hard to come by in europe. 😦

    I’d love to try that guave stuff, reminds me of something I tried in Cuba.

    And btw, your photos are absolutely mouthwatering!

  6. maria permalink
    September 14, 2009 1:10 pm

    I know next to nothing about Caribbean food, so I’m interested to read more of your blog entries. All I can think of is jerk seasoning for jerk seitan/tofu/tempeh.

  7. Chaz permalink
    September 14, 2009 2:20 pm

    Wow, I would definitely use some of the guava jelly. So here goes.

    Being someone who follows an Ital lifestyle (which can be associated with the vegan lifestyle in other places outside of Jamaica), I would go with Scotch Bonnet pepper as the Caribbean food ingredient which is used in Jamaica for many things, but in the case of Ital cuisine, definitely Ital stew, which is basically a dish of potato, red bean, carrot, yam, coconut milk and other delicious additions combined and served with rice and gungo peas.

  8. twoveganboys permalink
    September 14, 2009 5:24 pm

    Deep fried plantain empanadas. Yum!

  9. September 14, 2009 6:04 pm

    Pigeon peas, Barbados, peas and rice? Still one of the dishes that are my fav. Reminds me of dhal baht in nepal….

  10. September 14, 2009 6:44 pm

    I could eat your photos, never mind the food. Thank you for such artistic interpretations of such inspiring food.

  11. September 14, 2009 9:57 pm

    Taymar, these pics are gorgeous!

    OK, contest answers…so many dishes to choose from!

    ingedient: Shado Beni
    dish: calalloo
    island: Trinidad of course 🙂

    Thanks for hosting this!

    G.

  12. Tricia Z permalink
    September 14, 2009 10:32 pm

    Plantains and coconuts in the northern part of Honduras-Roatan, for example, used in a dish called Machuca.
    Thanks!

  13. gwen permalink
    September 15, 2009 1:01 am

    I always talk myself out of buying guava cheese for the sake of my budget, it would go to such great use in my kitchen!

    There are so many ingredients to choose from! Pommecythere, christophenes, breadfruit, jolokia, ackee, custard apple, tannia, cush cush, malacca pears, browning, congo peppers…I’ll go with cassava, for making cassareep, for pepper pot.

  14. September 15, 2009 9:43 pm

    What a great post. That meal is so well-rounded, balanced.

    Guavas are in season here too and I am currently working on a column about it. I am also making a pastry in which guava jam can be used.

    Loved this post, Tay, excellent!

  15. September 15, 2009 10:10 pm

    Lovin’ the guava pic. Guava cheese, oooh I haven’t had that since I was a kid….ahem just the other day really:-) Why no recipe for the chien sauce? What is it made of?

  16. September 16, 2009 10:46 pm

    I’m embarrassed to say how little I know about Caribbean cooking. I read your blog to learn! I went to Jamaica for a week in college on a very tight budget and ate little besides bread, peanut butter, and pizza. Young and stupid, I guess.

    Jerk seasoning has allspice in it, right? Do I win????

  17. Wicky permalink
    January 10, 2011 1:58 pm

    Taymar, Happened upon your page just looking for instructions on how to make farine (cassava) it has always been a favorite of mine since I was a child, many decades away from my Caribbean roots…I has been desiring to taste it again. I am a foodie and would like to know the process of this basic cassava staple .

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 10, 2011 2:00 pm

      i dont know how to make it either my grandmother is lucian and when i see her again i will ask her if she knows I buy mine at the airport in Barbados for now when I go home but I am longing to make this childhood favourite!

Trackbacks

  1. Creole Week-Soursop A fruit unknown but “Oh so Good” « Vegan In The Sun
  2. Creole Week Avocados are more than just Guacomole-Féroce d’avocat « Vegan In The Sun

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