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Part II of Culinary Festival in Trinidad/Tobago & Another Contest…

carmelvalley

Previously, I shared how I was teased with coconut macaroons everyday at bedside. How I went swimming in a blue grotto (or was that in my travel blog?) and how I simply ate way too much.

One of the sweeter excursions of the whole 4 day tour was visiting Carmel Valley Estate. This guy here is paid! The owner that is. His place is situated on some inordinate amount of acreage, housing beehives that produce internationally acclaimed honey, a never-ending field of cocoa trees (ick, some had termite hives), and get this ya’ll–a rabbit stable! Yes, he raises these cute white fuzzy little creatures and sells the meat to the entire island. I don’t have to tell you what he does to the rabbits, though I was utterly disgusted when he took us through the process. I almost vow never to eat rabbit again. Or red meat for that matter!! I may be exaggerating, temporarily, but I had a conscious moment.

Can you imagine visiting a slaughter house? NO, thank you. I love chicken and my pulled flank steak and good ass hamburger every now and then; even a little pink sometimes. I must get over the tragedy and trauma.

Really.

Anyway, after the hour-long tour and explanation of how he produces honey from his very own bees and how cocoa beans are extracted, dried, and ultimately made into that aphrodisiac single women like me crave, we were invited to have some! I sucked on honeycomb (get ur mind out the gutter!), sipped on hot chocolate and sucked on the gooey gum from the cocoa pod.

It was so sexy.

cocoabean
ttcocoatree

ttcocoapodttmeeatingcocoabean

Cocoa beans & ball

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Okay, so I was all excited everything I had just ingested until he charged us for a ball of fresh cocoa he had just offered! WTH? Was I being cheap? Don’t you think he should have gifted us journalists a ball of cocoa? I mean I get it: I know your T&T *produces the highest grade and quality of cocoa in the world* and that even the finest Chocolatiers use T&T cocoa to make what we know as Belgian, Swedish and Italian chocolate. But damn! I walked away with two balls, enough to yield 50 cups of hot chocolate or 2 chocolate bars! Oh yeah, and I bought some honey too! Woo freakin’ hoo! $16 for a huge bottle. It’s my new favorite ingredient. I’m on a mission to make all kinds of enticing dishes. Maybe even share with a man.

By the way, they only export cocoa. Locals, sorry, no choco for you.

I passed on the frozen rabbit.

On to dinner at the most popular East Indian restaurant, ASPARA, located in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad. Greatness people, greatness. Indigenous music graced our ears, and a vast menu was hard to choose from. I didn’t take written notes that night, as I just wanted to sit back and be served w/out having to ask this, that and the other. Especially after I caught our server rolling his eyes at another media member. Hysterical! Someone was too inquisitive about the ingredients in the curry *something*. HA.

We all ordered some version of lamb, curried squid, about 3 different naan bread (flat) and basmati rice con todo. I was a bit overzealous and had spicy lamb that I couldn’t handle. That’s what’s great about communal eating–you share! Ahh.

Squid @ Aspara

Yellow Curry Lamb

Curry Lamb

I went back to my suite and worked out.

Lunch on Saturday was incredible. The GM of the Hyatt Regency had invited us to this delectable spread. I am reminded of how I am going to fight for world hunger. There is no reason why people are starving. None.

Mango chocolate mousse for dessert was sexy, too. I interviewed the Chef (the one that shared that curried plantain recipe) and I learned that Shadon Beni (aka, cilantro) is the *new* fad in culinary practice down there. They put it in everything!

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mangodesserthyattshrooms

I promise ya’ll I’m not greedy, but this chic can eat! I had everything you saw here and about 1/2 x more! Not to mention we had to eat at the festival kick-off Sat. night, only 5 hours after eating lunch. SIGH.

Travel writing is awesome. Anyone can get used to this type of lifestyle and treatment–on someone else’s dime! I’m just trying to figure out how I can take my lovers with me.

Okay, I’m tired of writing. Sorry. The cafe con leche has me giddy and a bit out of sync. Plus I want to go work out, need to finish writing a review which is 3 days late and take my pooch out! Oh and I’m back in the studio! Got 3 songs to record!!!! Do you want to hear when they’re done!

I did promise a contest though, right! Uhm let’s see…

*WHAT IS A MAJOR RESOURCE FOUND IN T & T? HINT, IT’S NOT FOOD RELATED*

1st Person to answer correctly gets Matouk’s Tamarind Chutney. The 2nd person to answer correctly will get Celery Hot Sauce. You must email your answer to bren(at)flanboyanteats(dot)com! Both made in T & T! HOT MOMMAS, ENJOY!!!

RELATED POSTS:

T & T Culinary Festival, Part I & Curried Plantain

I’m In Love All Over Again

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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0 thoughts on “Part II of Culinary Festival in Trinidad/Tobago & Another Contest…

  1. I’m gonna send in my answer but I wouldn’t be surprised if I get it wrong 🙂

    Wow – definitely sounds like you a good time and good for you for putting away the notebook and soaking in the experience. Some people just are too “by the book” and don’t use ALL their senses to convey their experience. Not that I know any media people like that *ha!*

  2. Celery hot sauce, what even is that? The whole journey sounds insane as usual. I want a cocoa ball, but I suppose I’d rather have chocolate made from it…like some 80% cocoa stuff. Very odd he charged you for it. Perhaps its similar to going to Egypt and ending up with a rug?

    Keep enjoying…I’m gonna go apply for a travel writing job.

  3. That sounds like an awesome experience. Sounds like I need to get into travel writing! Also, I have to agree with you about being charged for that cocoa ball–kind of a downer, but at least you got to enjoy some high quality stuff nonetheless.

  4. Sounds like a fantastic, eye opening journey! (except about the rabbit part – esp since I’d love cute white rabbits as a pet) But that is the circle of life, isn’t it?

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