Saturday, September 18, 2010

Preview photos of Caribbean Brooklyn for Noshnews

I'm putting finishing touches on Noshnews Issue #23 - Caribbean Brooklyn. Here are just a few photos that I hope will tempt you! Let me start with a series of photos to introduce you to delicious Trinidadian doubles! From my reading, doubles are a street food. There aren't lots of street vendors in Brooklyn selling out of carts or trucks; there are plenty of Haitian food stalls, but not Trinidadian ones, from what I saw. Doubles are cheap - $1 or $1.25, for the most part. So you'll definitely buy more than one~

The Doubles is (this is grammatically correct!) an addictive sandwich with a filling of curried chickpeas between two saucer-sized pieces of bread (called barra) sometimes made with either white flour or yellow pea (lentil) flour, with curry and cumin added. haven't tried to make it yet, and rather doubt I will, considering how cheap they are... and I've eaten so many now that I know that the bread needs to have a particular consistency - soft yet solid.

After the two doubles are laid out, a filling of chick peas is added. THe chick peas are curried with onion, ginger and curry powder.

You can choose one of three sauces - tamarind, pepper or kuchela, a hot mango sauce. Some people ask for all three - I usually do! The mixture plays lovely and exotic games with your palate.

You can find the ingredients for doubles in markets all over Brooklyn (and recipes on the Internet). But I'm happier to have someone else make them for me! As you can see, it's a leaky-looking preparation. The sandwich is wrapped in white sandwich paper before you get it. Thank goodness... or it would leak all over you!In any case, the doubles aren't around for long - the flavors now ooze through your veins!

THe colorful baby pants shown below were on sale at the Caton-Flatbush Market at the intersection of these two streets. Until I saw it I had absolutely no awareness of this market. It serves as an incubator for local small businesses. I saw copying companies, hair salons, nail spas, Haitian markets, clothing stalls and more... It was a surprise to me, because I thought I knew NYC's most interesting markets. This one has been around for almost 10 years - and will become a destination on future Noshwalks!

Callaloo seems to be the "national green" of Caribbean Brooklyn. You will see it in all the markets! I also saw some at a beautiful farm on the campus of George Wingate High School, where students, under the tutelage of professional farmers, are growing all sorts of produce to cater to Caribbean palates; they operate a greenmarket during growing season! The student farm is show below; below that is a picture of callalloo (not the farm's!) at Suzie's Farm on Flatbush Avenue.

I've been to many places, but not the Caribbean islands (or Guyana), whose food will be featured in the upcomoing issue of Noshnews. (I was in Cuba more than 30 years ago, however - on a bicycle trip!) The colors and textures are wonderful - as seen in this picture form a market whose proprietor, a friendly but camera-shy woman named Dawn, takes such good care of her merchandise. I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is to see these foods in their natural surroundings!

This last photo won't be in Noshnews, but the store canopy made me laugh. Bagels are the international food of choice, I suppose!

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