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Antigua and Barbuda

June 16, 2010

St. John's, Antigua

Heading to the islands! A perfect way to begin my summer cooking. Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Neighbors to St. Barts, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Martin. Very nice neighborhood!

I think one of the main culinary reasons I’d like to travel to these islands is to taste the black pineapple which grows there. Despite all my efforts to find black pineapple in America, I’ve come up empty-handed. Apparently, the fruit is not exported to us. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda describes the black pineapple on their Web site:

“The Antigua variety of pineapple is known as the ‘Black’ as it has a dark green colour when it is most delicious, but is smaller than other commercial types. The variety is full of flavour, juicy and sweet; it ripens to a golden glow.

The Pineapple was first introduced into Antigua and Barbuda by the Arawak Indians from South America about the time of the first Christmas and was called Boniama or Yayama by them and was believed to be food for the Gods.

As early as 1640, settlers in Antigua cultivated the Black Pineapple near English Harbour, and they have been cultivated ever since on the south side of Antigua, particularly near Cades Bay and at Claremont.”

Seems very clear that I should start with a pineapple recipe!

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