And memories is what this meme is all about. It asks for five food-related things you miss from your childhood. It did not take me long to compile this list and thinking about each one of them brings back memories of the flavours and smells of my childhood.
1.Sweetsop/annona: When I was a little girl in Mozambique, no matter where we moved to there was always one or two of these trees in our backyard. The trees do not grow very tall and some of its branches are low, making it easy for us kids to reach up and pluck this most delicious fruit. They become mushy when ripe and do not travel easy. One day, some seven or eight years ago I found one small basket of sweetsops for sale in one of the Asian markets in our Chinatown. I paid $2.50 for a lonely smallish fruit which was flavourless, a clear sign that it had been picked green and ripened under duress.
2.Young coconuts: Are another tropical delicacy I miss very much. Its flesh sweet and soft is eaten with a spoon. I do love coconut and many times, when my supermarket gets a fresh batch I purchase one, open its "eyes" to remove the water and then peel it and keep it in the fridge to much on as a snack. Alas, what I get here is not young, but fully mature fresh coconuts. While researching for photos for this post I found out that Melissa from California does sell a package of 3 young coconuts for $US26.90, not including postage. Mmmm! Pretty steep, and I wonder if it is worth it.
3.Whole cashew nuts roasted on an open fire: As I've had opportunity to mention here before, my maternal grandparents had a farm in the north of Mozambique, where I spent many wonderful times. In the farm there were all kinds of tropical fruit trees native to the place (papaya, banana, mango, sweetsop), and some others planted by my grandfather (mostly lemon, orange, and grapefruit). The place also had plenty of huge cashew trees, that must have been almost a hundred years old, or seemed so to me. The cashew-nut, a bean-shaped nut at the end of the fruit, is covered by a thick meaty cover. It was not advisable to try and cut open this cover because the oils would "burn" your skin. These nuts were roasted over coals until blackened at which time they could be opened to retrieve the meat inside. The cashews were unevenly roasted. Some areas were a little burnt some quite pale, but the flavour was incomparable. The commercially available cashews do not even come close.
4.Beach Clam Stew: Beaches in Angola and Mozambique, if you lived far away from the main ports, were big expanses of white sand and clear water uncluttered by civilization. On Sundays, we would go to the beach and for lunch we carried a big pot where the cook had put olive oil, lots of chopped onion and garlic and some chopped tomatoes. We also carried some fresh bread and, of course, drinks. Pick the clams was easy. Every wave that splashed on the beach seem to bring tons and we easily picked them up as they tried to bury themselves in the sand. As we picked them, we dropped them in a big pail of salt water. Close to lunch hour a fire was lit using wood foraged from the vicinity and some rocks to support the big pot. After the onions were translucent the clams were taken from the water pail and dropped into the pot just to open. In about 5 to 8 minutes lunch was ready and we all dove in eating the clams with our hands and sopping the bread on the flavourful broth. Divine!
5.Chicken Piri-piri at grandma Adelina's: Chicken piri-piri is a typical dish of Africa. It is nothing but a whole cleaned chicken opened in the middle and flattened, seasoned with hot chillies and cooked over the coals. It probably was being cooked this way by the native people's of Africa when the Portuguese navigators dropped in around the 1500's; and it could be that our best contribution was the copious amounts of garlic we added to the basting sauce. At my grandmother's farm, chicken piri-piri was always cooked over the coals outside in the backyard. Grandma's marinade/basting sauce was simple: garlic, salt, lots of piri-piri (African hot peppers) the whole thing mashed in the mortar, then add olive oil and rub the whole bird with it. Put the "butterflied" (split the down the center enough to allow it to lie flat, but without cutting it into two pieces) chiken on a rack over the coals, high enough that it will cook slowly. Keep basting with the marinade, as you turn the chicken. It was to cry over, literally... sometimes the basting sauce had one hot-pepper too many for my taste.
Now, how this meme works:Choose four bloggers to tag (none of whom are obligated to take part):
1. Elizabeth of Blog from our Kitchen
2. Michelle of Oswego Tea
3. Ruth of Once upon a Feast
4. Dawna of Always in the Kitchen
Now, remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired effect.
1 - Becks & Posh
2 - Clea Cuisine
3 - Station Gourmande
4 - Tasca da Elvira / Tarzile.com
5 - Pumpkin Pie Bungalow