It’s also Grenada’s national dish. Cut into 4-5 pegs. Carlene Woodroffe, Mount Cinnamon’s assistant general manager, makes a seafood version of Oil Down for her family, she told us. Ribbons of Callaloo go on top of the vegetables and meat. The next step was to make dumplings from a dough of flour, salt and water. Janice enlisted our help in rolling small hunks into three dozen three-inch cigar shapes. She also dipped a spoon into the mix and tasted it. (The other two are Carriacou and Petite Martinique.). This one-pot meal is made up of local vegetables, “provisions” (the local term for starchy root vegetables, tubers, and bananas that fill you up), salted meat, and aromatic seasoning — all easily accessible, affordable ingredients in Grenada. Wash salted meat, cut into small pieces. After spending even a short amount of time in the Caribbean nation, on a Grenada vacation, you will hear someone rave about “Oil Down.” Listen closely: The local pronunciation is something like “all-don.”. And, of course, breadfruit. Everyone has a different order and method, but usually the breadfruit and meat goes on the bottom, most of the vegetables in the middle, and the callaloo leaves and dumplings on top. An hour later, our authentic Grenada meal, Oil Down, was served. Called "oil-down". “We make it every chance we get,” said Karim Maycock, executive chef at the luxe boutique hotel Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club on Grand Anse Beach. Oil down is the national dish of Grenada, the "Spice Isle" in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles within the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. , Today, oil down is a staple at the family table and at special gatherings, during the annual Carnival bacchanal or simply as a weekend feast. While the meat marinated in a soup of coconut oil, onion, garlic, sugar, sage, thyme, cinnamon, curry, turmeric and other spices, Janice prepared the breadfruit. The pot was covered and placed on the open fire. On the small Caribbean island of Grenada, where locals have to deal with limited freshwater, seasonal rainfall, and natural disasters, and where the majority of the food is imported from the US and neighboring islands, oil down is one dish that Grenadians can call their own. “Needs salt,” she declared, and added a heap before re-covering the pot. Grenada celebrated 43 years of independence last week, and it is traditional to make the country’s national dish – Oil Down, to celebrate the occasion. No imported spices or seasonings, no choice cuts of meat here. Plus, eating most anything. Discover the unique ingredients that make this celebratory dish iconic in Grenada. 2.  Oil down is also very popular in local restaurants. It’s only fitting that Oil Down is on the menu at homes and restaurants throughout the tri-island country. Called "oil-down". Unlike spinach, however, you can’t just do a quick saute of callaloo. Cut pegs in halves across. Open pot. Pamela Dittmer McKuen is a Chicago-based freelance features journalist who specializes in travel, home and fashion. Press/Writer inquiries: [email protected], Celebrating authentic food and travel — worldwide. , "This Hearty Stew Is A One-Pot Lesson In Grenada's History", "Guyana Gold: An appreciation of our cuisine", Jamaica - Montego Bay, Port Antonio and Ocho Rios - John Bigley - Google Books, West Indian kitchen gardens: A historical perspective with current insights from Grenada (United Nations University website), The Secrets of the Caribbean Cuisine - Facts & Reviews (WPB Magazine), 12 Grenadian Foods Every Island Transplant Should Try (Caribbean Life | St. George's University), Top 10 foods to try in the Caribbean (BBC Good Food), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oil_down&oldid=945661144, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 March 2020, at 11:29. 1 lb. Remove from fire. Add sliced onion and chopped celery, and thyme. “You pack it, not stir it,” she said. Whatever ingredients you choose, make enough Oil Down to assure there will be leftovers. Oil Down. Complete the meal with avocado slices and a fresh fruit or milk drink. Be sure to watch the video below, too, to see the making of Oil Down in action. Chef Janice Edwards assembles the ingredients for cooking oil down on the beach. She hates playing Scrabble. Chef Janice Edwards shows off the plated dish, Oil Down. Superb! , Grenadians might also use the term oil down in reference to a traditional neighborhood party where they serve the oil down stew cooked over an open fire. “They say it tastes better the day after,” Kareem said. We had no argument with that. There are differences in how each island makes its oil down, however, with Grenadians preferring dasheen, dumplings, and turmeric while Trinis tend toward a simpler dish without dumplings, but with hot peppers. Put into heavy aluminium pot. In Guyana they make mettagee, or mettem, and in Jamaica they have a seafood version called run down. Cook till all water is absorbed and food begins to fry . Add the breadfruit pieces to the dish, then the meat. , Unlike most stews, in which the ingredients get a thorough mixing during the cooking process, a pot of oil down is "packed." It’s time for a rum punch while the oil down cooks on an open fire in the sand. Add coconut milk. “We make it every chance we get,” said Karim Maycock, executive chef at the luxe boutique hotel Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club on Grand Anse Beach. She also adds okra. It is a very simple, delicious and robust dish, which is extremely popular at local "cook-ups", (barbecue parties at the beach). The Oil Down recipe has untold variations, depending on who is making it, but breadfruit is a must. The first thing that I noticed when I landed on the Eastern Caribbean island of Grenada was the emerald green landscape, dotted with mountains rising up over the crystalline waves. , Oil down is a stew of breadfruit, salted meat, chicken, dumplings, callaloo, and other vegetables, all stewed in coconut milk, herbs, and spices to make a hearty and flavorful one-pot meal. Her ingredients: Chunks of bone-on chicken and pig tails; a melange of cut-up carrots, pumpkin and cabbage; and ribbons of callaloo, which is similar to spinach. The reason is, when serving Oil Down, you normally scoop from the sides, and that way every ladle-full will contain breadfruit. 7. Traditionally it is the men who cook the oil down at such parties. “Now it is time for rum punch,” Kareem said, leading the way to the Beach Cabana. The ingredients simmer in situ. Oil down is a stew of breadfruit, salted meat, chicken, dumplings, callaloo, and other vegetables, all stewed in coconut milk, herbs, and spices to make a hearty and flavorful one-pot meal. Watch this video for her demonstration of how to cut breadfruit for Oil Down. One of our favorite ways to celebrate this time of year is by cooking our national dish- Oil Down. , Traditionally, the dish is finished when all the liquid has been absorbed, which usually takes at least an hour, depending on the size of (the) pot.. The undelicious-sounding name, Oil Down, refers to the coconut oil and meat juices that trickle down and permeate the rest of the ingredients. Discover the unique ingredients that make this celebratory dish iconic in Grenada. Learn from a local how to make an oil down recipe for Granada's national dish. Please note, RealFoodTraveler.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn a small amount of advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com while providing convenience for the reader. RFT Editors – Real Food Traveler Specialists, How to Make Oil Down - Grenada's National Dish. While two assistants built a wood fire on the beach between several small boulders, Mount Cinnamon kitchen supervisor Janice Edwards deftly showed us how it was done. Shop our Travel Guides and Maps and get Free Shipping storewide. The whole thing is stewed in coconut milk, herbs and spices to add even more flavour. It's a hearty one-pot meal of salted meat, chicken, dumplings, breadfruit, callaloo ((KAL-la-loo) - made from young dasheen leaves) and other vegetables. After lining the pot with wedges of breadfruit, Janice pours marinated meats into the center. Using a fork and spoon, roll up leaves into a ball-like mixture. 5. Favorite experiences include swimming with whale sharks in Cancun, fishing for piranha in the Amazon River and viewing the annual sandhill crane migration in Nebraska.
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