By Nerissa Golden
Yes, yes, yes the music and costumes are good but can we agree that the St. Patrick’s Festival Slave Feast is all about the food?
Slave Feast is what Montserrat call’s the celebration on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 to cap off the eight days of festivities which honour our African, Caribbean and Irish heritage. A slave village is recreated in Salem Village of wood and leaves and modern accoutrements (forgive me, I had to use the word cause it reminds me of my grandmother Miss Mama Bull) like tarpaulin and plastic chairs :-). Anyhow, let’s get down to business. These are the seven things I always look out for at the annual Slave Feast.
Duckna or Duchana
We can debate the spelling but no denying the taste. Made with sweet potatoes, a little coconut and spices this bit of heavenly goodness is always the first thing I look for. Hot or cold, its a treat and add some saltfish and your favourite vegetables. It’s going down.
If you are lucky your favourite stall gives your some of these along with your duckna. We won’t argue about the flour today, just enjoy these coconut flavoured delights.
Anything with saltfish. Saltfish balls, saltfish patties, saltfish with the dumplings or duckna you are set.
The really good ones have more potato than flour, and make you wish you’d bought the entire pan.
Yes we love guava and pineapple tart too but on a day like the feast you haven’t reached taste bud overload until you’ve had some coconut tart. Whether as a folded tart or a pie you’ll want to take a piece to save for a midnight snack.
Not many people make this any more but if you can find some then please save a piece for me. It goes great with guava jelly.
Homemade Ice cream
You are sure to find modern flavours like cookies n cream but be sure to check Mervin in the white van for some pineapple, coconut or order a mix of several flavours.
I still have memories of sneaking pieces off this sugary treat just as mom dropped them on the counter to cool. Eventually she would call me to eat it that way, cause I love it warm. Be ready for a sugar overload but it can be worth it.
What are the things you enjoy most about St. Patrick’s Day? Tell us in the comments.