Sunday, December 19, 2010

St. Lucia

We're in St.Lucia -- check for more information and ongoing reports.

As for food: last night after a long day of travel, we ate in the Continental dining room, one of 4 restaurants at our hotel. I'm sure we'll also try the others: a vegetarian cafe, a West-Indian dinint room, and a grill.

The restaurant offers a different selection each night: I ordered fish with potatoes mashed with "salt fish" -- which I recall from reading Cod by Mark Kurlansky is a bit of irony. Salt cod, once was the cheapest type of food; fishing boats in the North Atlantic scooped up huge shoals of cod and dried and salted them for distribution to all parts Europe and European colonies. The lowest quality salt cod was imported to the Caribbean plantations for the slaves (who were sometimes also allowed to grow a few vegetables for their own use after their unthinkable work in sugar cultivation and other tasks, a long sad story). Salt cod and other salt fish have always been among the staples in post-colonial Caribbean cuisine, for many reasons. Now cod have almost been fished out of existence. And one finds salt fish as an ingredient at an elegant tourist restaurant here at Anse Chastanet on a beautiful hillside with a stunning beach. St. Lucia of course is a land of free men and women, slavery a distant memory; but I remember something.

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