Hearty Stew: One-Pot Lesson in Grenada’s History

Repeating Islands


Scott Neuman, for NPR’s “The Salt: What’s on Your Plate,” writes about the significance of oil down in Grenada’s cultural history. Here are excerpts; for full article and a luscious-sounding recipe go to NPR.

When describing the cultural history of the Caribbean island of Grenada, it’s the cooking pot rather than the melting pot that springs to mind. And there’s no better culinary metaphor than “oil down,” the peculiarly named national dish of Grenada, a mix of meats and vegetables.

Nearly every ingredient in this hearty stew has a unique origin and story to tell: For instance, callaloo, a leafy vegetable somewhat similar in taste to spinach, and the same plant’s root, known as dasheen, are indigenous to the Caribbean and were cultivated by Grenada’s earliest Amerindian inhabitants.

Beginning in the 16th century, bananas came from Asia via European explorers and settlers. A few centuries later, slaves from West Africa…

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