Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bite me: Damson stew

Grenadian damson tree laden with fruit
Fruit seasons are synonymous with fruit stews. Plums, tamarind and golden apple are boiled in brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and bay leaf for a sweet snack. Gummy bears and ring pops didn't stand a chance in my primary school days when these fruits were on the market.

My all-time favorite is Damson stew. Damson, not to be confused with Damsel, has as many names as the Caribbean has ethicities: gooseberry, sour cherry and jimbilin to name a few.

Th original damson fruit
It is extremely sour, making it the perfect balance to the sticky, sweet, spicy stew.

Red sour cherry stew compliments Caribbeanpot.com
Some people, and by some people I mean Trinidadians, add a couple drops of red coloring. That's patriotism for you.

As a kid, eating the stew went something like this:

1. Eat the sauce off the damsons.
2. Re-dip and re-lick. Do this as often as you like.
3. Finally, take your time with the soft flesh around the pit.
4. Repeat step two with the pit.
5. Attack classmates with the pit. Optional but preferred.

As much as I miss my childhood days, I promise this behavior is a thing of the past. What cherished childhood memories of snacks do you have? Feel free to share below.