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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fire & Ice



The colorful “flavors”:  strawberry (reddish-pink), blueberry (blue),
pistachio (green), passion fruit (orange), and coconut (white). 
The coconut probably did taste like coconut.
If Nevis was about Killer Bees and Doctor Pastry, what neighboring St. Kitts culinary memories would roll off our tongue?

While we didn’t wander widely, two tastes struck us as the most uniquely local.  One was a sweet treat with a slight Caribbean twist, the other a smoky, meaty mouthful.  Otherwise, predominantly, St. Kitts food was an offering of other popular regional cuisines – Mexican, the ubiquitous Chinese, Indian, pizza -- no doubt to satisfy the prolific cruise ship crowds and more well-to-do Ex-pats. Smaller neighboring Nevis’s open air produce market was open more often that St. Kitts’s.  I was sorry to miss out on Sprat Net, a St. Kitts seafood spot well off the beaten track, opened by a group of fisherman; we passed in by bus headed from Basseterre to Fort Charles.

The ice is shaved, by hand with a flourish and a little
icy spray right before your very eyes.
Edible Caribbean Eye Candy:
Shave Ice

Colorfully repurposed gallon-plus water jugs caught our eye aside the ferry dock bus depot queue. We suspect all the colors --  errr, flavors -- pretty much taste the same.  Sugary. Chalky.  Wayne ordered “strawberry” which I thought tasted more like bubblegum.  Then again, I don’t expect the average Caribbean local’s tasted a good, fresh, ripe strawberry.
A swirl of sweetened condensed milk provides
the final, finishing touch. Literally, this is eye candy.
It was refreshing and sweet and pretty… St. Kitts in a cup, $5 EC (about $1.75 USD).  Not anything I’d crave, and not nearly as good as Kauai, Hawaiian shave ice.

BBQ:  Smokin’ Hot Goodness
We were headed off to the Caribbean Cinema (think the Caribbean’s version of Regis) to see the Hobbit, our first movie since seeing the latest “Men In Black” at McMenamin’s just before leaving the States. 

Manned and unmanned (never saw women grilling)
we saw these BBQs all over St. Kitts.
As usual, I was hungry. Smoky  BBQs teased my nostrils and tickled my tastebuds with their savory scent.  My mouth watered.  Ribs, pork, chicken… for a couple of bucks I satisfied my craving for BBQ chicken.  It was good.  Moist, no fancy sauces, just plain smoky hands-on-need-a-napkin-and-a-wash-too BBQ goodness.  The guy we bought it from, on the river outlet near the ferry dock said, “You’ll be back!”  He asked, as had many other locals, “You gonna be here for Carnivale?  We start up our celebrations after Boxing day.”  We were tempted, but did not hang around St. Kitts for Carnivale. If we return to St. Kitts, we will be back for his BBQ. I’ll bet he’ll be in that very same spot, serving with a smile, one of the many genuinely friendly folks we met in St. Kitts.
This beautiful sunrise bade us sweetly goodbye
the morning we left St. Kitts.
We’re now in St. Martin, where we also walked past mouth-watering street BBQs.  “You can buy a BBQ here if you want, now that we’re in St. Martin,” Wayne said, when we agreed we both are instantly hungry whenever we smell a BBQ.  They’re not cheap, and we just spent a bundle finishing our standing rigging repairs.  What’s the ROI I wonder, on how many BBQs out I could save, knowing, we only occasionally indulge.  Hot chicken cooked outside the galley in hot weather, though, that is very tempting.