Here is our second excerpt of Cayman Local Food & Flavours. This weeks edition is all about fruit and vegetables and the great variety these items have in cooking. If you're planning a trip to Cayman in the next few months be sure to try one of the many, many mango varieties that are in season. You won't be disappointed.
PLANTAIN: Plantains are commonly mistaken for large Bananas. Bananas are almost always eaten raw, while plantains tend to be cooked and are used either when green or unripe (and therefore starchy) or overripe (and therefore sweet). Plantains are the tenth most important staple that feeds the world. Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavor and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.
CASSAVA: Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics. It is actually a starchy root that has a sweet or bitter taste and like other roots contains toxins so must be properly prepared to prevent illness. Cassava is commonly used in Cayman for cakes, flour or fried into chips.
CALLALOO: In Caribbean countries is generally made with okra and dasheen or water spinach. There are many variations of callaloo which may include coconut milk, crab, conch, Caribbean lobster, meats, chili peppers, and other seasonings such as chopped onions and garlic. The ingredients are added and simmered down to a somewhat stewlike consistency. When done, callaloo is dark green in color and is served as a side dish.