Tuesday, September 2, 2008

West Indian Labor Day parade in Crown Heights

as I did last year, I went over to Amanda's place in Crown Heights to watch the West Indian Labor Day parade down Eastern Parkway (which is one block from her). we met up after wandering around in huge crowds for a while and began to buy food items to eat. I got:

bottle of sorrel for $3
bottle of mauby for $3
jerk pork with rice and vegetables for $6
goat roti for $7
quenepas for $2

the sorrel was slushy-frozen and delicious, and I've had it a lot before, but something about the taste was more familiar than it should be...eventually I looked it up online and yes, it's one and the same with the hibiscus ("jamaica") agua frescas I've had at Mexican places! the West Indian one is thicker and sweeter, while the agua frescas are always choked with ice and more fruit-punchy.

the jerk pork was OK. Jason bought a container from the same place I did and got all fat and skin, while I got a lot of really good meat chunks. it wasn't quite spicy or sauced enough, though, and instead of cabbage they gave us basically carrots and green beans and corn frozen mixture. pfeh.

the goat roti was also delicious, but not as good as the ones from Stir It Up on Atlantic Ave. also, I know the bones are the best part, but sometimes I wish I'd just gotten a chickpea roti so I could eat it like a burrito instead of picking through it with a fork.


the mauby was really interesting. I've probably ordered it a dozen times at West Indian places and they're always "out", but there it was in a cooler for three bucks. It was pale golden in color, like apple juice, and really sweet at first, but swiftly giving way to a prolonged bitter aftertaste. very strange flavor combo of sweet + bitter, but I did finish the bottle and make steps toward getting used to it.

the quenepas were a good little snack, sweet globules, better than lychees, in lime-like rinds. I even got a twin-seed, which I think for women means they'll one day have twins.


Sorry my pictures were so terrible--there were like 3 million people pushing and I had5 food items in my arms and was eating standing up and, well, they are what they are. (I took the quenepas pics when I got home, since I couldn't finish them there).

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