Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
Back in the sunny South this week, we find ourselves in the country of Dominica. This is a country I didn’t even know existed! When I first read ‘Dominica’ in my spreadsheet, I thought it might be another name for Dominican Republic– but no, the two aren’t to be confused! Dominica is an island country in the Caribbean with a population of about 70,000. It appears to be a less-explored tropical paradise.
Up until 2013, the national dish of Dominica was Mountain Chicken (which is actually frog meat?) but due to the species becoming endangered, the country took the responsible step to change their official national dish in an effort to protect the Mountain Chicken…frog. So, their national dish now is Callaloo Soup, a cream-of-spinach-type-soup made with some interesting ingredients. We followed this authentic recipe from Dominica Explorer.
The recipe was a little challenging to follow due to the use of the terms ‘seasonings’ and ‘provisions’ as it was tough to tell which ingredients the recipe was referring to throughout the steps. But I think we managed to figure it out as the recipe turned out pretty good. Everything was easy to find at the local grocery store. We did skip the dumplings though, just because we weren’t in the mood and it didn’t feel like excluding them was detrimental to the recipe.
I started by washing and chopping all the green ingredients (i.e. spinach, celery greens, parsley, thyme, and cloves), adding them to a pot, and boiling.
Next, I washed and chopped the ‘chunkier’ fresh ingredients (i.e. bananas, onions, yams); and blended the greens. Then, throw everything back in the pot together and bring to a boil, then let simmer for an hour or so until everything is cooked.
The final product certainly ranks high on the ‘unique’ scale so far for this challenge. It has an overwhelming banana flavour and is mostly just a sweet soup. Honestly, now that I write this, it’s like a hot smoothie. If I were to make this recipe again, I’d cook everything together and blend it all, rather than having larger chunks of onion, banana, and yam. It was definitely tasty, hearty, and super healthy– but not my favourite so far.
Although I will say it tasted way better than it looked!! See ya next week!