On a tiny island between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean, lies a paradise beyond your wildest dreams. The clear blue waters echo the vast blue skies above, the sand is like powder between your toes, and the deep green of the tropical forests take your very breath away. This island is St.Lucia, and if you’ve never been, luck now has you on your way to a little piece of heaven on earth.
Surrounded by the neighbouring islands of St.Vincent and Barbados, St.Lucia spans only 616 kilometers in length, but is home to roughly 200,000 people. The major cities are Gros Islet, Soufrière, Vieux Fort, and the capital city of Castries. The city names tell of a past French influence over the island, which also played a major role in the “Creole” language that is primarily spoken. The people are warm and full of life that boasts in the vibrancy of the city streets, and the food can be summed up in one word, “Comfort.”
Yes, we are now at the heart of the culture, where the flavours speak volumes of their African descent. Dishes such as: Green figs and saltfish, Callaloo, and Bouyon soup are colourful, and full of delicious goodness that fill the belly and warm the heart. St.Lucia holds a special place in my heart because it is my mother’s home, and the meals she cooked are those as I’ve described, which floods memories of flavours I only wish you could experience for yourself. Out of this world! The one dish in particular that our family could never get enough of is Accra and Floats. It is commonly served in the morning, but us kids would eat it any time of the day, no problem! A favourite from my childhood to your kitchen.
FLOATS: CREOLE FOOD, KWEYOL FOOD, LOCAL FOOD INGREDIENTS
- 1 lb. flour
- 1 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- *2 tbsp baking powder
- Oil for frying
- ½ cup water
- Measure the flour into a large bowl, add the baking soda then mix the butter and sugar into the flour. Dissolve the salt into the water then gradually pour the water and salt mixture into the flour, butter and sugar mixture, mix together and knead until the dough becomes nice and soft. But not too soft!…
- If the dough is too soft add some more flour until dough is smooth, soft and does not stick on your hand. Cover the dough with a damp tea-towel for about 15 minutes.
- Place a large frying pan on a medium heat. When the pan gets hot add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan to about 1 cm deep.
- Cut the dough into small pieces a little bigger than the size of a table-tennis or golf ball.
- Using your hands, roll and shape dough into a ball then flatten and shape into a disk about 1cm thick. Place the flat circular dough into the frying pan of hot oil, when one side is golden brown, turn on the other side. Once both sides are golden brown bake is ready.
- Your delicious bakes can be eaten almost straight away – just allow to cool a bit! Whether you eat them plain or with the traditional cheddar cheese or delicious stewed saltfish and cucumber garnish, you will fall in love with this delicious local treat.
*When yeast is used instead of baking powder the result is float which is lighter and fluffier than bake. When yeast is used, add the yeast to a little of the warm water and sugar, let sit for 5 minutes then add to the flour mixture. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes to rise. The Float dough is ready to be separated, shaped and fried once the dough rises to about twice the size of the original dough.
Sugar: Traditionally white sugar would be used, but substitute brown if you prefer.
Flour: Traditionally white all-purpose flour would be used, but for a gluten and grain-free alternative, I normally replace white flour with a mix of ⅓ each of coconut flour, cassava flour, plantain flour…
Additions: You could add herbs or other things if you like, why not? Experiment! Have fun!
*Recipe taken from islandeffect.com
Accras “Fish Cakes”
Accras ‘Fish Cakes’
Accras are great with bakes as an appetizer or breakfast dish.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 lb chopped shredded saltfish
2 scallions chopped
1/4 cup green pepper chopped
1 small onions chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
hot pepper sauce to taste
black pepper to taste
oil for frying
1. Combine the chopped green pepper, scallions, onions,garlic in bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients except water and mix thoroughly. Add hot pepper sauce and water making sure that the mixture reaches a thick consistency.
3. Beat the mixture until is smooth.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and fry until both sides are brown.
5. Drain excess oil on paper towel.
*Recipe taken from tastestlucia.wordpress.com
I thought this would make up for not being able to travel these days, but as soon as we are able to take trips again, I suggest you head to St.Lucia. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy your evening and happy Tuesday everyone!