A Taste of Home

As much as I enjoy galavanting around the globe and taste-testing each new culture, sometimes I get a strong craving for the familiar.  Yesterday was such a day; I missed my friends and I missed my previous way of life but most of all, I missed my food!  When I get hit with a sense of longing like that, I usually find myself on long, international calls filled with laughter and lots of catching up.  One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is about the availability of ingredients that flavor and create Bahamian cuisine.

Truthfully, while Austria imports lots of exotic produce, little of it really conveys the flavor of my island home.  The produce section overflows with avocados, coconuts, mangos, bananas, plantains, peppers, and surprisingly, the fish section has salt-water fish! The cheese section carries precious quantities of Irish cheddar but I have yet to find mutton at the butcher.  There is a dusty, dark, closet-of-a-shop around the corner that carries Indian tumeric, canned corned beef, canned condensed milk, Vitamalt (don’t ask me how?!), cornmeal, and grits!  You would think this Bahamian gal would be in heaven but somehow, maybe because the produce is picked too early or because they’ve been sitting on shelves for ages or because they’re not Caribbean tropical products but rather Indio-Asian tropical products….they just don’t cut it.  The cheese is great though – macaroni here I come! 😀

So what does this girl do when she misses a taste of home, she invents!  Yesterday, I was so in the mood for some sticky, tangy, sweet, pepper, smoky, barbecue chicken.  You know the kind where the sauce sticks to your fingers and no amount of paper napkins can get it off, you gotta get in there with your teeth or go wash your hands?!   That’s what I wanted; course, that kinda sauce doesn’t exist around here.  So….I made my own; here’s what I did.

Flavor for my BBQ, honey for sticky and sweet; paprika for smoky; red and black pepper for heat; thyme, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce for tanginess, olive oil for fluidity, and do I really need to explain lemon and salt, lol

Opps, almost forgot the cloves and cumin, only a pinch of each but they add that something essential I can't define.

Combined together, the finished product should be the consistency of a thin syrup.

Apply liberally to the chicken, under and over the skin, and allow to sit for at least an hour. Reserve the rest of the sauce for basting.

And there we have my heart's desire served with homemade potato au gratin and a garden salad with pumpkin seed dressing.

About A Bahamian In Austria

I am a Bahamian woman, married to an Austrian man, who's been freshly transplanted to Vienna. I started writing this blog when a dear friend insisted that I had to write down my experiences. At best it'll update my buddies on my crazy-going-ons and at least, it'll keep me from stalking them online (LOL). I hope you enjoy :D
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9 Responses to A Taste of Home

  1. I have to admit…when away from The Bahamas my first craving is for protein…conch….pretty much in every form followed second by chicken…not barbecue but “chicken-n’ the bag” like Bamboo Shack. Luckily potato salad and macaroni are easy to replicate anywhere.

    • LOL, I might get my Bahamian status revoked for this but I don’t get conch-cravings and I know that’s the first thing everyone returning home dives into. Yeah, thank goodness you can make macaroni anywhere because I do love me a good, heavy, cheesy mac!

  2. Eliot Kelly says:

    Like it Jewel, be encouraged…………..

  3. ML says:

    I “stumbled” across this blog and might I say MARVELOUS!!!!!!!!!…..Gal u did that chicken right na all u needed was some good ole peas n rice with some coconut milk, coleslaw and u wudda been good to go…..but u right there is nothing like some TICK (yes thats the right spellin) lol…bbq sauced down chicken….yummo…..LUVS THIS….u know I will be checkin in daily….so no slunkin! LOL..

    • So wha make u tink jus cuz I cross here I figet dialec’ doe?! LOL, I might not speak/write it often, but you never forget your own language/land…and apparently food! Now, because of you, I have to go make some peas-and-rice! Oh, I have a laugh for you….I did bring my Quaker grits with me – take that!
      Thanks for the kind words and the Bahamianese (warms the cockles of my heart). Subscribe to the blog and you’ll get an email each time I post something new.

      • ML says:

        U already know we HAFFI travel with some goodies from cross the waters…lol….errytime I leave the land I toting sometin I know I will never find….

  4. Sprouted G says:

    The Chicken looks Great…In my travels, food from home was always a good comfort…

  5. Pingback: “They like me, they really like me!” | A Bahamian In Austria

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