Different seasons have different flavors. The most distinct seasonal flavor is definitely fall with all of that cinnamon and nutmeg goodness. That does not mean the other seasons don’t have their own distinct flavors as well, they just may be more varied. For me summer tastes like vacation. Think Maryland blue crabs, boardwalk fries and watermelon. Essentially those are all childhood food memories.
This week’s topic emphasizes the flavors of the Caribbean (more of an adult food memory as, I definitely had not been to the Caribbean as a child). Here are some items that are found in our local stores that can help take you “away to the Islands” any day of the week.
If you cannot find “Sazón” you can make your own blend by mixing one tablespoon each salt, ground black pepper, granulated garlic or garlic powder, dried ground coriander seed, cumin, oregano and substitute paprika for the achiote (your homemade version would be MSG-free). Use 1 ½ teaspoon for each packet of sazon seasoning called for. This is great on rice, beans, and vegetables or even as a rub on meat.
Beans are big in Caribbean cooking as well. One bean you may not be familiar with but that can be found in the Caribbean aisle is Pigeon peas. They are green peas and a main ingredient in Indian dals, Caribbean and African rice dishes, soups and stews. They are sometimes paired with green mango and fresh coconut. The taste is nutty and the texture crisp.
Check the Eating Well with Kim Facebook page for a delicious Caribbean rice and bean recipe as well as a plantain recipe.
Interested in more Caribbean cooking featuring produce? Check out the informative link provided in the blue box above.
As always: Eat well, live well and shop well.