Techniques of Caribbean Cooking

Appears in

The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking

By Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz

Published 1973

  • About
Certain techniques used in Caribbean cooking are what give their characteristic flavours to many of the dishes of the region. In the Spanish-speaking islands sofrito, a highly seasoned tomato-sweet pepper sauce, adapted from the original Spanish version, is widely used, so is lard or oil flavoured with achiote (annatto). Dry or wet massala (curry powder or paste) and ghee (clarified butter) are used in Trinidad, where the Indian influence is strong. An important Amerindian contribution is cassareep, a liquid seasoning made from grated cassava roots. Originally from Guyana on the South American mainland, its use has spread to Trinidad, to Barbados in the Windward Islands, to St Kitts in the Leeward Islands, and over to Jamaica in the Greater Antilles. A strong French influence can be seen in the use of seasonings, especially on islands which changed hands between Britain and France innumerable times, persisting even when the island ended up English.