Antigua and Barbuda

It’s been a while since I last managed to cook a meal for my project; too many other things on the go. Finally, I’ve found the time to attempt a meal from Antigua and Barbuda, the next country on the UN members list. Tonight we’ve had a traditional plateful of Antiguan food; pork, ducana and macaroni pie.

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Ducana is a sweet potato dumpling from the Caribbean. They are made from grated sweet potato, sugar, flour and spices (I put in mixed spice and cinnamon). Other recipes add coconut, nutmeg and vanilla for a sweeter dumpling. To make them, you leave the grated sweet potato in sugar for a few hours, and then add flour and spices. You mix into a dough, and parcel up tightly in some foil (or banana leaves if you happen to have some!). The dumplings are then boiled for 50 minutes and left to cool a little. You can then remove the foil and serve. They were really lovely but quite sweet to have as a side dish.

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The macaroni pie is also a traditional Caribbean dish. It’s similar to macaroni cheese but firmer with a nicer range of flavours. After researching several recipes, I added white onion, green pepper, spring onions, lime juice, white wine vinegar a good squirt of ketchup and herbs to a white sauce with cheese. Mix with pasta and bake for 40 minutes. Traditionally a slice is served as a side dish, or little cubes on cocktail sticks.

We also had some pork steaks served with bacon wrapped bananas. I wasn’t convinced about the mixture of sweet and savoury flavours before we cooked the meal but it all worked out nicely.

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