I went to Jamaica with every intention of coming back with an authentic Jamaican recipe to share on my blog. I made arrangements with Chef Andre to meet for a cooking class at our resort and learn how to make classic jerk marinade and as vacation would have it the only knowledge of anything “jerk” that I came back with was that I was one for missing the class. Not wanting to miss a minute of sun and fun, I called to reschedule for a time when my cooking skills were a little more up to par, but somehow the message didn’t make it to Chef Andre, so when we returned from our beachtime, there was a nice note that basically said “Hey, Jerk, you missed the class. Here is your jerk recipe, Jerk”. It didn’t say that exactly, but that is exactly how I felt after getting my hate-mail. I can, from time to time, be a little passive aggressive, so I know it when I see it. So, for that this jerk is sorry for not bringing you back a jerk marinade recipe.
Nonetheless, I did put on my proverbial chef hat one morning at breakfast and decided to get a little daring with the local fruit. I won’t say exactly what time it was because I am pretty sure it was a little earlier than 5 o’clock, but when you are on Island Time you do as the islanders do and have mimosas with breakfast. I had just filled up my plate with local fruit, so when I poured my champagne I decided to head back over to the fruit and spoon out juice from the lychee bowl and just drop one right in my glass. It was actually very good. I have always wanted to try lychee, but never sought it out. Lychee is not actually a Caribbean fruit. It is more indigenous to South Asia and is famed as the “King of Fruits” in their culture, but the trees are grown commercially in the Caribbean as they favor sub-tropical climates. The juice added somewhat of a floral taste to the champagne similar to St. Germain Liqeuer. Just as I was about to take a bite of the fruit, my ever-observant husband informed me that it looked like an eyeball in a glass of champagne, so after that I wasn’t really able to enjoy the fruit itself…….Thanks, honey! I did go back other mornings, though, and spoon in some of the juice and enjoyed it just the same.
- 2 tbsp lychee juice
- 6 oz Brut Cava, Prosecco or Brut Champagne
- 1 lychee fruit
Place lychee fruit at the bottom of a champagne flute. Spoon lychee juice into glass. Pour champagne over fruit and juice.
I wouldn’t exactly say I have an adventurous palate (got the spelling right on that one), but I am willing to try new things occasionally. I enjoy learning the culture in new places especially when it comes to their food. If we are being honest, though, I can’t say that I really liked any of it, but I did want to share my thoughts on the Caribbean fruit that I tried just in case you were wondering.
Papaya – There are so many wonderful health benefits of papayas. Of all the fruits I tried, this one definitely won the contest. I don’t think that I will eat it again by itself, but the peppery, gingery flavor will go perfect on a savory salad.
Otaheite Apple – I agree that it had the crunchy texture of an apple, but the flavor was as if I was munching on a bouquet of flowers. It definitely doesn’t taste like an apple. I think I will stick with my sweet, juicy Galas.
Jack Fruit – I had to hold my nose to get it down with a sip of my “eyeball” mimosa. Thank goodness for that. It has sort of a rubbery texture like a tough artichoke heart or something. It is said to have the flavor of a tart banana, but I couldn’t get past the texture long enough to enjoy the flavor.
Naseberry – There are no words. Etiquette was gone with this one and it went straight into my napkin. It is supposed to have the flavor of cinnamon, apple and pear and perhaps I didn’t know how to choose the best piece based on it’s ripeness, but as I said……there are no words.
So there you have it. I hope I haven’t offended any tropical fruit palates, but I did want to share my culinary experiment. I don’t think I am going to sign up to judge any Caribbean fruit food contests any time soon.