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Culinary Traditions Of The Caribbean Islands

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Authentic Caribbean cuisine is truly an excellent representation of all the cultural influences the Caribbean Islands have experienced since Christopher Columbus’ landing in the late 1400’s.
With a fine mixture of French Island and African recipes, Caribbean cuisine is widely prepared and enjoyed by people of all nationalities, in many areas of the United States and the world.

Caribbean food and culture was forever changed when the European traders brought African slaves into the region. The slaves ate mostly the scrap leftovers of the slave owners, so not unlike the slaves in the United States they had to make do with what they had. This was the birth of the more contemporary Caribbean Cuisine. The African slaves blended the knowledge of spices and vegetables they had brought from their homeland and incorporated them with the precious fruits and vegetables of the Caribbean Islands, as well as other staples to be found in the area. This created many one-of-a-kind dishes, because many of the produce on the islands at the time was too fragile to make it through the exportation process. Fruits most often found in Caribbean cuisine include yams, yucca, mangos and papaya fruits. Among the produce that is too fragile to be exported is the tamarind fruit and plantains (a fruit grown on a tree that is similar to the banana).

Caribbean food, while spicy, is one of the healthier options among culinary traditions from different regions. As discussed, the lush Caribbean islands are chock full of vegetables and fruits for healthy living. In addition to that, America introduced beans, corn, chile peppers, potatoes and tomatoes to the islands, broadening their palate.

When slavery was abolished on the islands, slave owners had to look else where for help. Bringing in labor from India and China, different types of dishes using rice or curry were introduced and blended into mainstream Caribbean cuisine. This is how the Caribbean favorite curry goat was born.

The Caribbean islands are in a prime location for one of their specialties–seafood. Salted codfish is a specialty on the Caribbean islands. It is usually served in a salad or stew, or at breakfast in scrambled eggs. Lobster, sea turtle, shrimp, crab, and sea urchins are also specialties on the islands. They are used to make such exotic, spicy Caribbean dishes as Antillean crab pilaf and curried coconut shrimp.

Desserts are an integral part of the Caribbean culinary experience. Sugar cane is one of the area’s chief products, so there are always an abundance of cakes, pies, and dumplings. Caribbean natives incorporate dessert into almost every meal. At Caribbean restaurants you may notice the emphasis they put on their desserts; in their culture, dessert is just as important as the main course.

Caribbean cuisine incorporates flavors from all of the different cultures that have ever graced the shores of the islands, from Africa to China to India. The flavoring in Caribbean cuisine is intense and rich, strikingly similar African and Creole food.

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Recipe: chicken breasts with sour cream and jalapenos

Chicken Breasts with Sour Cream and Jalapenos

Servings: 8

1 fresh jalapeno or 1 (4 ounce can diced chiles)
1/4 pound Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
4 whole boneless chicken breasts
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Pound chicken breast to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.

If using fresh jalapeno, wash and pat dry; seed and remove ribs, if desired. If using canned green chilies, rinse, seed and pat dry. Chop chile. Shred enough cheese to measure 1/4 cup.

In small bowl, combine cheese with chile, chopped cilantro and sour cream. Set aside.

Preheat broiler. Line broiler tray with aluminum foil and set aside. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine butter and oil in large heavy-gauge skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken breasts, 2 at a time, about 5 minutes per side, or until brown. Transfer to broiler tray. Top each chicken breast with a generous spoonful of sour-cream mixture. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heating element about 5 minutes, or until topping bubbles. Transfer to platter and serve immediately.

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Recipe: John Wayne Casserole

John Wayne Casserole

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INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces canned, diced green chiles
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
3/4 cup evaporated milk
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix chiles and cheeses and put into a buttered shallow casserole.

In a small bowl combine milk, egg yolks, flour, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold whites into the yolk mixture. Then pour the mixture over the cheese and chile mixture and carefully blend. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Women ‘More Concerned About Fuel Increases’

Women ‘More Concerned About Fuel Increases’

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The results of a poll held in Australia have found that women drivers are more concerned about the costs of fuel than men.

Women, whose greater consideration for safe driving in many cases results in much lower car insurance premiums, also appear to be more considerate when it comes to the costs of petrol, according to the survey from NEWS.com.au and Coredata.

Some 86 per cent of women motorists said they were worried about the ever rising price of petrol, compared with a slightly lower 80 per cent of men.

Furthermore, 66 per cent of women surveyed said they were trying to economise on their overall petrol usage, while only 59 per cent of their male counterparts, who will generally pay higher car insurance premiums, said the same.

Almost half of women drivers revealed that they were looking to purchase a small car. Those shopping for female car insurance could benefit from such a move, as small cars generally have smaller car insurance premiums.

Contrastingly, under a third of men said they were considering buying a small car.

Petrol price worries are not unique to Australian women drivers – both male and female British drivers may have felt the strain on the pocket of rising fuel costs over the last few years.

And like in Australia, many men and women drivers in Britain may also be considering purchasing smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles to cut costs.

Buying a new car often provides a good opportunity to review car insurance policies and some providers specifically offer motor insurance for women, given their statistically better safety profiles.

A survey earlier this year from the car manufacturers ‘Chrysler Group’ found that men and women drivers felt differently about the standards of each other’s driving, despite the fact they agreed on aspects of driving itself, such as evading objects and bad weather.

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Finding the Best Belgian Chocolate: A Sweet Tooth’s Quest

Finding the Best Belgian Chocolate: A Sweet Tooth’s Quest

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When you enter a candy store, you will notice that one of the most popular products being sold are chocolates. Indeed, chocolates have been part of history for a very long time. Since the discovery of chocolate and the introduction of it in society, you will see that a lot of people love this one-of-a-kind treat. There is nothing like it and nothing will ever be like it.

Even past world leaders have been known to eat chocolate and lots of it. It is known that royal families around the world crave chocolate. If you love chocolate, you may want to taste every kind of chocolate and find the worlds finest and the best chocolate. First of all, you have to know what makes a good chocolate. Although different people have different taste in chocolate, you have to consider that they all arrive in one conclusion on what makes a good chocolate.

Naturally, chocolates are bitter. However, you have to consider that the best chocolate is a chocolate that mixes both the bitter taste and the sweet taste. The texture of the chocolate is also taken into consideration when eating chocolate, the smoother and the creamier the texture of a chocolate, the better.

So, what kind of chocolate that has a smooth, creamy and a taste that you will never grow tired of? Firstly, you have to consider that there are different chocolates produced by different countries. However, only a handful of countries have been successful in making the finest chocolate in the world. One country that produces the one of the finest chocolates in the world is Belgium. You have to consider the fact that Belgium is famous for its chocolate as they manufacture their chocolates with the original recipe that have been kept secret for centuries.

However, you also need to know that not all Belgian chocolates are considered to be the finest. You have to consider that you also need to look at the brand of chocolate in order to know which chocolate is the best. Besides, everyone in Belgium can make a chocolate and call it Belgian. So, one kind of Belgian chocolate is branded Godiva. Godiva is considered to be the world’s finest chocolate that offers high quality chocolate with a taste that you will never grow tired of.

If you have a sweet tooth and you want to taste the worlds finest chocolate, you have to consider purchasing Godiva chocolates. Whatever kind of chocolate you want, whether dark, white, or milk chocolate, you can be sure that Godiva can provide you with high quality chocolates that once you tasted one, you can never get enough of it.

In fact, people who have tasted Belgian chocolates, particularly their finest brands of chocolate, have testified that they felt that their feet were being lifted off the ground. Research has found that chocolates are natural antidepressant that can give the person eating it a sense of euphoria, hence the feeling of being lifted of the ground. So, what more if the chocolate you eat are Belgian?

Because of this natural trait of chocolate, it has been dubbed as the “happy candy” where anyone eating it will feel euphoria and will feel happy. Even depressed people can be cured of their depression by simply eating chocolates.

These are some of the things you have to consider when you are looking for the best Belgian chocolate.