Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pineapple chow

My vocabulary has expanded immeasurably since meeting my two closest friends from Trinidad and Tobago at McGill in first year. “Girl, want to hang out tonight?” pales in comparison to “Hoss, want to lime tonight?” 

And “steups”, which describes the sound made when sucking in your teeth, has found use in a wide variety of situations.
“The student services lady is referring to a 500 page manual to instruct her on how to help each student in line.” Steups.
“Megavideo, what do you mean I have to wait 52 minutes before I can finish watching my show.” Steups.
“A person at Subway is holding up the line because she wants completely different things on each half of her sandwich.” Steups.
“That textbook costs HOW much?” Steups.
“I’m not allowed to use the gym because I don’t have a towel? But I ate a whole pie today.” Steups.

From my friends, I have also been introduced to more dishes to add to an already extensive vocabulary of “foods I want to eat”. Like “pilao” or “pastels” or anything with the herb “shadow beni”.
And just when I thought my amazement could not exceed the knowledge that the traditional pizza topping of pineapple and ham is pineapple and BACON in Trinidad and Tabago, I learned about Carnival. Carnival is an annual celebration in Trinidad and Tobago where a) people take to the streets in bejewelled sequined and feathered costumes, b) drink in hand, c) “wining” down the streets until the wee hours.

Good food, good parties, good weather; I should start packing my bags now. Until then though I’ve made some pineapple chow! It’s like a pineapple salsa/salad and the pineapple can be substituted with mango to make mango chow. It’s rel bess.

Recipe as recited by friend:
1 pineapple (cubed)
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 crushed garlic clove
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper/ jalapeno pepper (or use half a red pepper finely chopped for some crunch, without the heat)
1/2 small cucumber finely chopped (optional)

Crush all ingredients except pineapple cubes together. Add mixture to pineapple cubes. Adjust to taste and leave for 15 min or more so all the flavours can mix.  

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