A-hoy mate… raaawr… huh? What?
No, really. Combine Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park and you’ve got a fair charicature of Dominca. This Caribbean island (with zero relation to the Dominican Republic) is odd as far as the Caribbean goes. The island looks like a “land-before-time,” filled with colossal green mountains, sky-scraper trees, and waterfalls that dangle like crystal chandeliers. There’s not much in the way of soft sandy beaches but there’s no shortage of mind-blowing outdoor excursions either, hence the nickname “Nature Lover’s Island.”
So where do the pirates come in?
Well, for starters real pirates loved to hang out in Dominca because, as the last island to be colonized (due to the difficult mountain terrain), it was considered “no-man’s-land.” That’s right folks. Once upon a time there was looting and shooting and merriment around the town. More recently, Pirates of the Caribbean was shot on Dominca, utilizing the extraordinary backdrop of stringy, drippy tree-trunks and swampy waterways.
So what about the food?
One “jumpy” contender stands out thanks to the lush vegetation and rugged terrain – the mountain chicken, a.k.a the frog. Unique to Dominica, mountain chicken is usually served deep-fried or cooked in a light broth [Recipe]. Due to overconsumption, the mountain chicken is now protected.
While rice is the most common filler, dumplings and bakes (chemically leavened dough that is boiled or fried) are served almost as often [Recipe]. The recipe is the same for either – flour, milk, baking powder, sugar, and salt – only the preparation varies. I like a recipe that can wear many hats. Huh? Yeah… you know what I meant.
If you’re looking for a mega dose of health (I’m looking at those of you with fitness-related New Year resolutions), you might try Callaloo. This thick Caribbean soup is made differently on every island, but can include dark leafy greens, okra, pig tail, crab, and coconut milk [Recipe].
If you could care less about New Year’s resolutions, but would like a direct flight to Dominica, any time, no matter where you are … you might try an avocado and grapefruit juice smoothie [Recipe]. This lovely green drink celebrates the produce of Dominica. Sweet, creamy, and a little bitter from the citrus, this drink will take your palate places its never been before.
Not convinced yet?
What if I told you they have one of the largest populations of people over a hundred years old?
They must be doing something right.