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.