This past Friday night I had the pleasure to attend a monthly event called Green Drinks. I actually thought the drinks were going to be green, or that we were going to be presented with environmental postulations. Neither was true, and I still don’t know why it was called Green Drinks. I will have to find out, as that thought just hit me.
Anyway, the event was held at a place called Belcampo Lodge. Have I told you before just how beautiful southern Belize is, especially in the Toledo District? Well, if I haven’t, let me tell you now. Belcampo Lodge is situated on top of one of the many hills that dot this district giving you the opportunity to look down onto the jungle. The view is, I don’t know, I have used the word gorgeous so many times that I think I have worn it out. But that is how I feel. The plush jungle surrounds the lodge as far as the eye can see. Off in the distance the trees shake and quiver with the activity of howler monkeys as they scamper about through the branches. The birds, of which there are dozens of varieties arrive from both the north and the south to the delight of avid and casual bird watchers.
So, this Green Drinks evening was set in this beautiful location, with 2 jaguar carvings standing guard as you enter up the stairs to the main bar area. There is an outside seating area where guests can sit, enjoy a cocktail, mingle with other guests and just enjoy the view. It is there that I spent a good part of my evening conversing with two young men who are here from the United States, Ohio, I believe. The one young man has family here in the Toledo District and he brought a friend with him. The friend is quite taken with the area and definitely expressed a desire to return at some time in his future when school is finished.
While we were talking one of the young men, Ronald, noticed some monkeys off in the distance in the trees. I didn’t see them but both of them did. The visiting friend was again blown away by the experience. While talking I didn’t consume any green drinks but I did consume a salsa that was mixed with avocado, which turned the dish green. My drink was a watermelon margarita. I must say that watermelon has become, in my world, quite a versatile fruit. Since this was my first time tasting a margarita I have no idea if it was a good one or not. After talking for a while it was time to have dinner.
The menu consisted of a wide variety of dishes, all of which are grown or raised locally.
I didn’t have any of the coconut rice or any of the yellow split peas – I never liked split peas – but I did have some of everything else. It was quite tasty. This was the first time ever having cassava and I quite enjoyed it. The texture was something quite different from what I have had before. It was firm but I could bite through it without resistance and the flavour was good too. Apparently, if prepared improperly, the cassava root and leaves can lead to the production of cyanide which leads to poisoning of the person who ingests it. However, when prepared properly it is good, healthy and may even had cancer fighting properties associated with it. Dessert was a choice of one of three items – Maya Chocolate Pudding, Pineapple Crumble Pie or Velvet Apple Pie.
I am a baker at heart and have several times made velvet chocolate cake so when I heard velvet apple pie I was thinking how did they do the “velvet” out of apples? Well, it turns out that the fruit is actually called a velvet apple and it is the size of a crab apple but covered with fuzz like a peach. The texture is neither hard like an apple, nor soft like a peach. Since I couldn’t decide and neither could one of my dinner mates, we agreed to each get one and have half so we could experience both pies. I had had the Maya Chocolate at the Cacao Fest so I wanted to try something new. Let me tell you – I think I have found a new favourite pie – Pineapple Crumble. That was such an unexpected taste – the sweet of the crumble and the tart (not too much) of the pineapple. What a combination. I am going to try this myself at home.
After a bit it was time to head out. Dinner was delicious, the dessert was scrumptious, the wine was just right but it was time to go. By this time it was 9:30 and we had been at Belcampo for 4 hours socializing the night away.
What was your last sumptuous dessert? I hope it was as good as mine!