September 18, 2020

Festival of Flavours [Trinidad, Jamaica, Cayman Islands]


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artsculture-600x400From Skies

Cayman Carnival Batabano may be a few months away, but the sights, sounds and flavours of this most festive season already fill the air.

By Sole Sastre

During carnival celebrations, sequins, vivid colours and frenzied tunes mingle with a multitude of scents rising from stalls cooking up deep-fried morsels of goodness and sticky sweet treats. All over the , carnival is a sensory overload. Here are a few pointers to guide you on this festive feast.

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In mid-February 2015, Trinidad and Tobago hosts the largest carnival celebration in the Caribbean, and steel pan drums provide the soundtrack to some delicious street dining. Corn soup and roti are carnival staples in Trinidad. Made with corn, split peas, flour dumplings and spices, corn soup can keep you going strong throughout the celebration. So can roti, an unleavened naan-like flatbread wrapped around curried chicken, curried goat or split peas and potatoes to create a portable, hearty sandwich for the road.

Mid-April is Bacchanal Jamaica, the carnival celebration in Cayman Airways’ gateway city of Kingston, Jamaica. The island is almost synonymous with jerk cooking — the slow process of smoking or barbequing meats, especially chicken and pork, with a blend of Caribbean spices. The spices may vary, but the result is always mouth-watering. Jerk chicken stands can be found almost anywhere on the island. Stew chicken, rice and peas, oxtail and callaloo are also Jamaican standards that are well worth a taste test.

Tracks in the Sand

In the first week of May, Cayman Carnival Batabano offers carnival lovers plenty of opportunities to sample unique Caymanian cuisine, such as Cayman’s national dish, Turtle Stew. Sample it during Batabano — the word used for the tracks sea turtles leave in the sand — and you’ll be thoroughly immersing yourself in Caymanian heritage. Conch stew, fish rundown or an old-fashioned fish fry with fritters can also be found at the carnival’s Food Festival following the street masquerade. Wash down all those good eats with some traditional Caymanian Swanky — lemonade made with brown sugar, lime and rum.

In another Cayman Airways gateway city — , Honduras — you’ll be dancing to a different rhythm and sampling more unique dishes with a Latin flare. At the Gran Carnaval Internacional de , which takes place in late May, revellers hold parades, dance and eat a variety of local treats, including meats roasted right on the street, fresh cheeses, homemade breads and Tajadas — fried plantains topped with ground beef and cabbage.

Regardless of where you start your culinary carnival journey, don’t forget to end it on a sweet note. Delicious desserts, from heavy cake to rum cake, are sure to provide the perfect finish to a day of music, dancing and heavenly noshing.

Fly with Cayman Airways

Cayman Airways offers daily nonstop flights between and Kingston and twice-weekly flights into Montego Bay. Twice-weekly nonstop flights operate between and La Ceiba, Honduras, and there are daily nonstop flights between and Miami where you can make flight connections to Trinidad and other international and regional destinations. To book your flight, visit, call 345-949-2311 or 1-800-4-CAYMAN, or contact your local agent.

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