More Caribbean Ingredients

Ropa Vieja

Shredded beef in a spicy sauce. Means "old clothes" in Spanish.

Roti

Exemplifies the heavy influence Indian cuisine has had on Caribbean cuisine. It begins with a round, Indian flat bread called a "roti" or "paratha" that is wrapped around a big dollop of curried goat, chicken, shrimp, pork or vegetables.

Salsas

Intensely flavored "little dishes" halfway between a condiment and a side dish. These varied combinations of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and chili peppers add an intense flavor "kick" to any meal, and are simply and healthfully prepared.

Saltfish

Saltwater fish which is salted and dried. Most often it is made with cod, but can be made with mackerel, herring or haddock. Served with Ackee as a specialty in Jamaica. Referred to as Bacalao on the Spanish-speaking islands, and Morue on the French-speaking islands. Bujol is a salted codfish salad made with onions and peppers.

Sofrito

The basic components of this seasoning mixture are cilantro, bell peppers, onion, garlic, tomato, and sometimes chilies, additional herbs and salt pork colored with annatto. Sofrito is an important component of Asopao and numerous other Puerto Rican soups, stews and vegetable dishes.

Sorrel

A tropical flower grown throughout the islands, it is boiled with other ingredients such as cloves, orange zest, and ginger, and then sweetened to make drinks, jams and jellies. The spicy-tart beverage is a beautiful raspberry-grape color, and is a Christmas tradition throughout the English-speaking islands.

Soursop

A large, dark green heart-shaped fruit covered with soft spines. Widely grown on the islands for its refreshing sour juice used in drinks, sorbets and ice creams.

Stamp and Go

Codfish patties fried in heavy batter which has been flavored with onions, annatto, and chilies. Popular in Jamaica. "Stamp and Go" was a command given to 17th century English sailors when they had a task to do, like pulling on a rope.

Tamarind

The fruit of a very large tree, it is a brown pod about 3-4 inches long which grows in bunches. Used in chutneys, curries and Worcestershire sauce.

Yuca

Also known as cassava, or manioc, it can be eaten boiled, baked or fried. It is a long, slim tuber (like a long potato) with bark-like skin and very starchy flesh that becomes nearly translucent when cooked. It is used to make casareep, a bittersweet syrup, and tapioca, a common thickening agent. It is also ground into meal to make bread.