Since I was a child, my father has been fishing as a hobby, one that I adopted and now my 12-year-old son. The daily catch was always seasoned, stuffed with vegetables, wrapped with foil and roasted over a charcoal fire. The preparation and tradition reminded me of the “good ole days” with grandparents who for those who have had them will remember and always want to revisit. For those who didn’t, the food of then no matter who prepared it would have left an authentic taste to reminisce.
My wife and I had the pleasure of hanging out one weekend with my dad, roasting pot cover fish (angelfish family ) on the ground in the yard beside a “casha maka” tree (a type of local prickly tree). He had fish tea (fish broth) going, and the red stripe beer felt colder as the sun extended it wrath in the middle of the day.
Gastronomy took its place in our lives long before we even knew the word. Food is way beyond the sustenance of life; it also impacts the life we live. People can go back to a particular time and place in their life just by food. Most Jamaican who has migrated to other parts of the world seeks after authentic Jamaican food to buy. For those who are visited by loved ones, the request for fried fish, ackee, roast breadfruit, Wray and Nephew White Rum and so on is not only a way to visit “yard”(Jamaica) but go back to a particular time of their life.
Thanks to the foods that “grow mi” (I grew up on) I can go wherever I want in my history, tradition, and culture.
Randie Anderson Executive Chef, CEC, CCA,WCEC, MSc Gastronomic Tourism.
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