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Serious chow at West Indian Day parade

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Serious chow at West Indian Day parade

Josh | Sep 2, 2003 10:51 AM

The West Indian Day parade that ran along Eastern Parkway yesterday was a Chowhound's dream: a full mile of stands selling home-cooked West Indian specialties. Nearly all of the stands were run by families or small catering businesses rather than restaurants, and you could taste the love and wisdom in their food.

Foods I sampled:

- Jerk chicken, rubbed with spices, grilled in oil drums retrofitted with chimneys, hacked into manageable pieces, splashed with tangy barbecue sauce, and served with "hard" bread. Best I've ever had.
- Curried goat, stewed in spicy sauce with potatoes and chickpeas and wrapped in fresh rotis. Superb.
- Curried oxtail over rice and peas
- Fried whole fish with curried chickpeas, fried plantains, and rice mixed with chopped spinach.
- Pone, a gummy cake made from pounded cassava, spiked with rum (I thought)
- Charcoal-roasted corn on the cob
- Mauby, a sweet drink made from some kind of tree bark. Had a tang kinda like root beer.
- Sorrel, a sweet drink made from some other plant material (or extract thereof).

Foods I didn't sample but was sad I missed:
- Souse, a mysterious dish made from "cow's feet"
- Black pudding, a sausage-based dish I didn't even glimpse before it sold out

Other foods I saw:
- Escovitch fish of various species
- A wide variety of curried or stewed meats
- Jerk pork
- All kinds of fried meats
- Various fried dumplings

Next year I'm going to fast in preparation for the parade. It is that good.

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