Strange Consumables Review #2

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Here are three new beverages for consideration in the Strange Consumables Review, all three from Trinidad. I got the kids a couple of falafel wrap combos for dinner from the Grillmaster in the Spiceland Mall, included with which were two drinks. I selected the Fruita & a Mauby Fizz. The Chubby soda came from IGA.

Fruita Pineapple Guava juice is canned by S.M. Jaleel & Company of Trinidad. It’s exactly what you think of when you think of canned fruit juice. It’s sweet (45g sugar), a little pulpy, and pretty tasty. I’m trying to cut sugars out of my diet, so it’s probably something I won’t drink again. If ever I go into diabetic shock and need a quick boost though, it’s the first thing I’d reach for. I give it a 7 of 10.

Next is the Mauby Fizz, bottled by Pepsi in Trinidad. This beverage tastes like root beer with a hint of anise and a strange, bitter aftertaste. As a beverage, Mauby Fizz didn’t impress very much. I’d have given it a 3 of 10 and called it good, but then I investigated the properties of the main ingredient: extract of mauby (colubrina arborescens). I found the usual Wikipedia entry and recipes for homemade mauby. Researchers at the University of the West Indies have discovered that mauby made with coconut water has the effect of mitigating some of the symptoms of hypertension. As a 40 year old man with a family history of hypertension, this was welcome news. I imagine just moving to Grenada will knock a couple of points off of my blood pressure, but I’ll take all the help I can get. I’ll keep my eyes open for mauby bark in the markets here, and will report back if I find any. I’m eager to taste the beverage without the pernicious influence of anise. Even with the anise, though, the purported health benefits of Mauby Fizz raise its’ profile a notch to 4 of 10.

The third bottle is another S.M. Jaleel beverage from Trinidad: Chubby Mega Star Mango soda. I gather it’s one of their most popular brands, considering it’s featured in their corporate URL ( http://www.chubbysd.com/ ). If Nehi made a mango soda, it would taste like a Chubby. No natural flavors or colors. I give Chubby soda a 2 of 10 for being cold and wet when I was hot and thirsty, even with no nutritional value.

As an aside, the food at the Grillmaster is quite good and very reasonable. We got two falafel wrap combos and an enormous portion of jerk pork with rice & peas, potatoes, and mixed veg for US$26.

(l to  r) Fruita Pineapple Guava juice, Mauby Fizz, and Chubby Mega Star Mango soda
(l to r) Fruita Pineapple Guava juice, Mauby Fizz, and Chubby Mega Star Mango soda

Appointment

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I’ve just found out my appointment at SGU has come through. I’ve got a meeting in the morning and am set to start teaching on Monday, September 1st. Can I get a ZOMFG?!

check out my styles!

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check out my styles!

One of the boys from the beach. He posed, saw his picture, laughed, and ran off down the beach after his friends.

Strange Consumables Review #1

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We did a dry run up the west coast to Gouyave so we know what we’re getting into for Fish Friday next week. Just as we pulled into town Addie announced she was hungry, so I stopped in a little market in town to buy some snacks. I got a box of orange juice, a frycake, some coconut pone, a cream soda, and two little bags of chips for EC$10. Solo-brand Cream Soda (“High In Quality”) is manufactured in Trinidad. At first taste it hits the tongue just like cream soda, but there’s an unusual (and not entirely pleasant) aftertaste of jasmine or some other flavor which tastes kind of like soap. I give Solo Cream Soda a 3 out of 10.

We hit the market at Grand Anse for dinner fixings and I picked up a bottle of Hairoun’s Bitter Lemon soda. Manufactured in St. Vincent by St. Vincent Brewery Ltd, this carbonated lemonade is a little sweet, but immensely refreshing. There’s just a hint of bitterness (hardly more than a glass of ‘regular’ lemonade), but nowhere near enough to turn off even the sugar-jaded American palate. I give Hairoun’s Bitter Lemon a 7 of 10.

Solo Cream Soda (Trinidad) and Hairoun's Bitter Lemon Soda (St. Vincent)
Solo Cream Soda (Trinidad) and Hairoun's Bitter Lemon Soda (St. Vincent)

afloat, half asleep

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A late afternoon float at Morne Rouge Beach:

A late afternoon float at Morne Rouge is a great way to seal the day.
A late afternoon float at Morne Rouge is a great way to seal the day.

food-u-want

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Grenadian Pepperpot

Add six pounds of various cuts of poultry, beef and pork (no mutton). Place into canaree (or crock pot) to marinate overnight with 10 ounces of water & 2 ounces of casareep (an extract of the cassava root sold commercially in bottles).

The next day, add:

  • a three-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 12 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 hot peppers (whole)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon each powdered onion and garlic (do not use fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon each of powdered oregano, thyme, coriander, salt and pepper.
  • 4 cups water

Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 4 hours.Taste for salt. Every day bring pepperpot to boil. If the pepperpot is boiled daily, there is no need for refrigeration. Whenever fresh meats are added, 1/4 cup of cassareep must also be added. Pepperpot is delicious over white rice with ripe fried plantains on the side.

ipopup

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Four days to go. Pack. Retrieve wrapped rugs from the cleaner. Sending calm, efficient thoughts toward the Grenada Ministry of Agriculture.

If I bought a gallon of milk I might not be here long enough to finish it.