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Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Mutton Dressed Up As Curried Goat.

One of the many great things about being Jamaican is a certain love of food. It's really a love of certain food. As we say, "Don't mess wid it. Eat it!" I've always been amazed that Jamaican cuisine is not more widely known. Somehow, we can't market our style of food as well as we do our music. Unlike the Chinese or Indians or French, we are not know for a range of cooking, and we don't have restaurants dotted in many foreign lands. But once people get a taste of Jamaican food then they never turn back. True, that taste is often jerk pork or chicken, or what is sold as such, or Jamaican patties. But, you need to get serious about some of the other sweet-tasting dishes, man. King of the pot is curried goat. Now, if you have never eaten curried goat, I sorry fi you. De sinting sweet, yu see!

Thesephone and I went on a late night trip yesterday, not in search of anything, but on a mission--not impossible, but potentially very pleasant. Deep in the rolling hills of St. George Parish lives a man, whom we will call "Mr. Nurse", who many years ago took himself to England for work but after many years decided to return home. If I recall rightly, he had worked in developing ports in England. Now, he is a farmer, and nurses our insides by providing a range of fresh meat and poultry. He raises chicken--that well-known and loved staple of "Those Ones". (As an aside, I remember the joke in England that people from the West Indies were not concerned about Mad Cow Disease. But if it had been Mad Chicken then you would have seen panic.) Mr. Nurse also raises those quaint Bajan Black Bellied Sheep. But, more important, he raises goats. Now, as far as I can tell Bajans don't really eat goat meat. In fact, it's pretty near impossible to see a goat in Bim. Farmer Nurse, however, is married to a Jamaican. This piece of wonderful happenstance has led him into the lucrative business of selling mutton--goat meat to us--to near- starving Jamaicans, who need their goat fix for a regular life. They need it especially when they are putting on a function.

Cue Thesephone: she's planning a kids' birthday party for "Beefy" this weekend. For this fine Jumaykan mudda, there will be no Chefette "meal". Home cooking will be the order of the day. Mr. Nurse, for good measure, assured us that we were getting a "good fellow", as his wife had just prepared her version of the delicious curry for him that evening. Where was our share? You can' do dat to people, man! Anyway, that gets us off the hook when Magician Marcie put her hand pon the goat and season it up good, and we wax it off, and don' leave nun fi Missa Nuss.

Comedian Steve Harvey has a famous sketch about how an American parent phones a Jamaican parent to complain about his kid having curried goat at a birthday party, instead of pizza, ice cream and punch: "Weze 'Merican an' we don' eat no curried goat". The Yardie parent, of course, is well offended. Get it on, bredrin!



Well, I imagine that the parents or children will have no problem with the servings on Sunday, except if dem is "maga" (aka meagre, meaning small). I, for one, will not take any little helping.

1 comment:

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

Hilarious!! Super Hilarious!! Had me in stitches! ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID