During the past week I have had some new food experiences. The first happened last Monday, Victoria Day in Canada but Labour Day in Belize.
Blue Crab – These little blue creatures are quite common here and you can see their crab holes all over the place, even in some cases several blocks from the water. As early morning and early evening approaches they leave their burrows to come out for food. When the rainy season starts they come out in droves and are caught by the locals who then gather them up for a feast. I was invited over to a friend’s house for a meal of crab. And since I hadn’t had it before, of course, I took the opportunity.
After – they lose their blue…
These crabs are a lot of work but the shells are not so hard that you can’t use your teeth to crack them open to get at the meat, if you don’t have a cracking tool. The lady who prepared these crab for me used curry and garlic and ginger and other spices made into a sauce. The sauce was delicious for dipping the mashed plantain into.
At the same meal as the blue crab I had a drink called Mash. This was an interesting concoction of coconut water, mashed banana and spices. The banana was not mashed all the way and it acted as a strainer for the liquid part of the drink. It was quite tasty.
My Homemade Flour Tortillas – it was the second time that I had them this week. And the second time for making them. The first time they were a bit tough, but used as a sandwich with peanut butter and banana, or for dipping with beans and salsa, they were just fine. The second time I made them I used a different recipe. The second time I used oil and milk while the first time I used margarine and water. I don’t know if it was experience making them or different ingredients but they weren’t as tough this time. Next time will be better as I think I am getting down the knack for making them – for smoothing them out and getting them thin enough. With peanut butter and banana they really are good. And with bananas at 8 for $0.50 (USD) eating bananas is a real pleasure.
Seaweed – Where I live there is an individual who rides his bike down the street every day yelling “Sea Wee”. I thought he was saying seaweed but not having full understanding of all the various dialects I just wasn’t sure. So today I was out driving with my friend through the streets of Punta Gorda and he pulled up to a house with a bike and cooler sitting out front. He honked the horn and the owner came out and my friend bought 3 seaweed drinks. I asked the seller what was in it and was told – seaweed, cinnamon, nutmeg, peanuts, and he smiled when I asked about the rest of the ingredients. Later I found out that it could be evaporated milk, or regular milk and there could even be some sort of alcohol thrown in there. It was pretty good, and mine didn’t have any alcohol in it.
I also became a little bit Belizean this week. I just officially opened my real estate office this week and like everybody else I closed at lunch time. Guess what I had for lunch??? Rice and beans – lol!
As time goes on I am learning about and trying new foods. The rice and beans, while isn’t all that tasty, can be made more tasty with the addition of spices like curry, or herbs like garlic, or vegetables like onion and tomato. Because they are pretty bland, the possibilities are wide open to add flavour to a Belizean staple. And I think I am going to try to find a recipe for “seaweed” as I did find it pretty good. And I know, with time, my tortilla making abilities will improve. It’s all about texture and practice. Now, for the blue crab, can’t say I was thrilled with them. There is such a small amount of meat for so much work. Not sure it is worth the effort. But at least I can say that I tried them.
Has blue crab been on any of your dinner tables? What did you think?