This week, The Famuan Food spoke to three students about some of their favorite Caribbean dishes. We spoke to a student from Jamaica, Haiti, and the Virgin Islands in hopes to discover what they love about their native food!
Regina Watson is a third-year broadcast student from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and she says Caribbean food is all about the fish! This islander’s love of tilapia is prevalent in her description of what foods she enjoys the most.
Famuan: What’s a typical St. Thomas, Virgin Island delicacy?
Regina: Well, my favorite dish is fried fish and Johnnycakes.
Famuan: What are Johnnycakes?
Regina: Johnnycakes is like fried dough. It’s sweet. But I don’t eat it everyday. It’s usually served like an afternoon/lunch type of meal.
Famuan: So what have you been eating lately?
Regina: Lately I’ve been eating a lot of boiled plantain. A plantain is like a sweet banana. I also eat lots of tilapia.
Famuan: I love tilapia.
Regina: I eat a lot of fish because in the Virgin Islands we eat a lot of fish. I don’t eat a lot of meat.
Famuan: What do eat for your daily iron intake?
Regina: Well I love vegetables. I eat carrots and fruits. I eat a lot of rice too.
Famuan: So what food do you hate?
Regina: I hate liver! I can’t smell it, cook it, or look at it. I also don’t like soda very much or pork. I only eat chicken, fish, turkey, and I rarely eat beef.
Lyneece King, a graduating senior psychology student from Tampa says Jamaican food is her favorite. Let’s see what she has to say about curry, spicy flavors and barbeque.
Famuan: What are some popular Jamaican dishes that you love to eat?
Lyneece: Curry chicken, jerk chicken, red beans and rice, ackee saltfish, green bananas, and dumplings. I know it’s a lot but I love Jamaican food.
Famuan: Talk about ackee and saltfish, green banana and dumplings.
Lyneece: Ackee and saltfish, green banana and dumplings are traditionally a breakfast meal. The dumplings can also be substituted for breadfruit. Breadfruit tastes a little bit like plantains.
Famuan: So how is Jamaican food different from American food?
Lyneece: It’s more flavorful. Sometimes our [Jamaican] food is spicier than American food. I personally don’t like spicy food.
Famuan: What’s your favorite non-Jamaican dish/food?
Lyneece: Honestly, I love Big Macs from McDonalds, baked spaghetti and chicken alfredo.
Famuan: What’s your favorite food, something you can’t live without it?
Lyneece: I love barbeque food like baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and burnt hotdogs!
Famuan: What do you absolutely hate?
Lyneece: I hate okra! It’s slimy and gooey and just nasty.
Cindy Joseph, a graduating senior psychology student from Miami can’t get enough of flavorful food that resembles her Haitian heritage. The Famuan got the scoop on typical Haitian food and cooking differences in Haitian and American culture, and Joseph’s love of cheesecake!
Famuan: So you’re from Haiti correct?
Cindy: I’m of Haitian decent.
Famuan: What are some Haitian dishes or meals that are common in your culture?
Cindy: Billion, which is a vegetable soup, Labouyi which is like pourage. Flat boillion peze, which is flat plantains, and griot, which is fried pork, and Picklese.
Famuan: What’s Picklese?
Cindy: Picklese is like coleslaw but it doesn’t have that course texture that coleslaw does. It’s made with carrots, cabbage, lemon juice, and hot peppers.
Famuan: What is the difference between Haitian and Jamaican food?
Cindy: It’s very flavorful and spicy. We use all natural spices like fresh garlic and fresh peppers. And also the method we use to cook food is different.
Famuan: Describe the difference between the American and the Haitian way of cooking.
Cindy: For example we make rice totally different than American people. It’s never just plain white rice. It’s usually cooked with vegetables or beans. The rice is never plain.
Famuan: What’s your favorite American dish?
Cindy: I love cheesecake.