Callaloo, Calaloo, Callilu, Calalou, Callau

Appears in

By Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz

Published 1973

  • About

The principal ingredient in, and the name of, what is probably the most famous of all the island soups. The term applies to the leaves of two distinct types of plant which are used interchangeably. The first are the elephant-ear leaves of the diverse group of tropical plants with edible tubers classified as taro, but known in the Caribbean under a wide variety of names (see Taro). The other is Chinese spinach, Amaranthus gangeticus, sometimes sold as yin-choi or hon-toi-moi in Chinese shops, and as hiyu in Japanese shops. It is widely cultivated in India and Ceylon where it is known as bhaji, so that one finds it called both bhaji and callaloo in many West Indian markets, especially in Jamaica and Trinidad, where there is a sizeable Indian population. It can also be bought tinned from shops selling West Indian produce.