Saturday, 28 January 2012

Pepperpot - The Dish That Keeps On Giving

Caribbean foods and dishes come in for star billing in my upcoming release, Jessamine, so I thought I'd share a few recipes for some of the dishes mentioned in the novel.  Today I'm going to focus on Pepperpot which was originally an Amerindian dish which uses cassareep, a preservative made from cassava, brown sugar and molasses.

I first heard about pepperpot years ago from Trinidadian and Guyanese friends.  It's not a dish we're now familiar with in the Virgin Islands but my attention was caught when I was told that, in the past, some people kept their pepperpot going over the fire for weeks and even months.  That's right.  They would put all the ingredients in a huge pot, set it to cook over stones outside and then keep it simmering for days - taking out bowlfuls for meals and replacing ingredients as needed.  That's pretty neat!  So, in Jessamine, the heroine, Arabella, thoughtfully prepares pepperpot for a family who's daughter suffered a horrendous attack.  (Nowadays, of course, most people cook their pepperpot on stoves though some die-hards say it tastes better when cooked the old-fashioned way.)

This would have been how she made it or like this.  And the pix below is how it would have looked.  The dark colour comes from the cassareep.

And if you want to see it being made, here's a demo -

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. This post made me smile as pepperpot (and specifically my mom's pepperpot) is my favourite thing to eat, period. So much so that I managed to talk her into sharing it with me for a scene in my new book Oh Gad!. I'm sure she didn't mind giving it up because having the recipe and being able to turn your hand to it like she does are not the same thing. - Joanne C. Hillhouse