Local Food, Vegetables & Spices
Leafy green on top, tuber-like below, dasheen is a vegetable that is enjoyed all over the Caribbean. Stewed, steamed, in soups or as a side dish, callaloo bush is vaguely similar to spinach or collard greens and is a healthy, tasty addition to any meal. The root, conversely, is much like a potato, with a high starch content and is one of the main ingredients of oil down, Grenada’s national dish.
Tannia is another starchy vegetable that’s quite tasty in soups. In Grenada, they also make porridge with it called tannia log, using grated tania and vanilla boiled in water. Vacationers looking to add a little romance to their trip might want to try it as it’s commonly believed to have aphrodisiac powers.
Grenada’s National Dish is a deliciously hearty stew made from breadfruit, callaloo, dasheen, green bananas, tannia, bluggoe (a variety of bananas), and salted meat. Prepared in a huge pot, the name oil down comes from the fact that all the ingredients boil down leaving the vegetables in an oily, tasty residue. Oil down is an Independence Day tradition but it’s also cooked year round so if you’re lucky enough to get a chance to taste it, don’t miss out!
Who doesn’t love the scent of well-seasoned meat roasting over an open flame? In every corner of the country, Friday nights are a feast for the senses as barbecue stands pop up virtually everywhere, perfuming the air with tempting aromas. Don’t resist the urge: embrace the tradition and prepare to enjoy your food and drinks while speaking with the warm, friendly locals. You’re guaranteed to have a blast and a belly-full!
You’d probably assume they’re talking about the beautiful beaches and waterfalls, but when Grenadians talk about ‘waters,’ they’re referring to a tasty broth. From fish, cow heel and lambie (conch) to goat head and sea cat (octopus), the names may intimidate you, but the taste won’t disappoint so dive on in!
One would expect that such a tasty offering, deserves something equally tasty to wash it all down and refresh you after… Sorrel or Roselle is a vibrantly red flowering plant that grows wild across most of the Caribbean. The petals are harvested, dried and then boiled, spiced and sweetened to produce a refreshing beverage loved by Grenadians and virtually everyone who gets a sip. Very popular at Christmas, sorrel is also used to make delicious wines and jams. Your goal while in Grenada should definitely be to try all three!