From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon at hotmail.com> on 2004.08.08 at 01:15:50(11943)|
Just to add a few comments. Actually, the name calaloo (or calalu,
kalalou, calalou, calulu, caruru...) has a very obscure origin. People in
Africa say it is an Arawak name meaning "green". I have never seen this
translation from someone in Carib, so I am somewhat suspicious. It is so
widely known in west Africa (and has so many names) and east Brazil (Bahia
State) that I am really convinced it is based in an African food, probably
made of ockra. In Brazil and in part of Africa, it is still made with this
plant cooked with fish, shrimp and seasonings. In Caribbean countries, ockra
was substituted by Xanthosoma or Colocasia leaves, as well as Amaranthus sp.
In Brazil, besides ockras, leaves of Xanthosoma sagittifolium (named locally
as ef├│, another African name) are used for the "caruru". It seems that
African people when arrived in America, looked for a local plant as a
substitute for ockra and the American Xanthosma (and the introduced
Colocasia in a lesser extent) was chosen. Amaranthus was a third option. The
taste for somewhat "gelly" (it is not the exact texture) food is probably
African (like Gumbo and many other African foods). That ┤s why the use of
Xanthosoma leaves is stronger where Africans have established, whereas
native people preffered to use tubers. Anyhow, all this confusion proves
that it is really hard to trace the origins or any "modern" food. It is even
possible that the calaloo was invented when a creative cooker traveled in
ship from Caribbean Islands to Brazil or West Africa with a few decaying
leaves of Xanthosoma, old ockras and fresh seafood, and that was the last
decent meal for many captive slaves.
P.S. Julius: I received the pictures you sent me. I will answer privately|
about my guesses.
Dr. Eduardo G. Goncalves
Universidade Catolica de Brasilia
Curso de Ciencias Biologicas
Sala M-206, QS 7, Lote 1, EPTC
CEP 72030-170, Taguatinga ? DF, BRAZIL.
Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book
Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2004 23:59:27 +0000
Dear Steve and Friends,
Ah, a breath of fresh air, someone who knows the word 'calaloo' and the fact
that the word is used for several plant species! OK, here we go---the
word 'calaloo' as best we can trace it, originates as an Amerindian word
from Brazil meaning 'a leafy veggie', Dr. Goncalves informed me it is
probably used for an amaranth sp., probably the same species of amaranth
sold as 'Jamaican spinach' here in S. Florida (what is your 'malabar
spinach', Steve, maybe this????) and called 'pig weed' in Cen Florida, this
plant is called 'chori badghi' in Trinidad, 'badghi' being a word from
India/Pakistan that seems to mean 'spinach', there are MANY different types
of 'badghis' on Trinidad, W.I. The Jamaicans make THEIR 'calaloo' using
this self-same amaranth, the Haitians use the word 'calaloo' for okras, but
on TRINIDAD, calaloo is made by cooking the young, unfurled leaves of
'dasheen', a var. of Colocasia esculenta, cooked w/ seasonings, chopped !
okra, cleaned land crabs (since these were not available, I substituted bits
of shrimp), and a balls of mushed then cooked plantains! Trinidadian
calaloo can be made w/ other vars. of taro leaves, but I recomend REALLY
cooking them for a long time, as I do not know what the 'itch factor' may be
on some of the other vars. of taro BESIDES the T`dadian 'dasheen' which
seems to have a low 'itch factor'. Dr. Goncalves told me that In Brazil
they cut the whole 'top' off Xanthosoma sp. plants and make a wonderful dish
with it, we do NOT eat Xanthosoma (our 'tannia') leaves in Trinidad. By the
way, Americans I`ve 'turned on' to 'Jamaican spinach' bought here in WPB,
Florida, tell me it is FANTANTIC, they prefered it to their mustard and
collared and turnip greens they were accostomed to.
Since there seems to be some sort of recent interest in EATING aroids, maybe
our newsletter might be interested in pulling up some back-issues of the
IAS newsletters and re-publishing some of the recipies that I wrote on
cooking aroids?? They were published back several years ago.
Aroids are becomming more and more available as food items in 'regular'
grocery stores, at least in Florida! I am presently growing the
'yellow'-fleshed malanga/yautia/Xanthosoma sp., what a beautiful species, I
hope to flower it as its leaves look SO different to the plants that grow
from the several vars. of grocery-bought white-fleshed
Elizabeth, I understand ther is a recently opened Trinidadian resturant in
Ft Laud. ( ? ) that MAYBE serves a very few of the dishes, it is said to be
expensive and I have NOT tried it as yet, my nephew keeps threatening to
take me there!
Good Growing AND eating!
Um? Does this mean I should be making calaloo with shredded taro leaves?,
something other than Malabar spinach? If so, is there a preferred variety
for calaloo? Thanks ----- Original Message ----- From:
To: Sent: Thursday,
August 05, 2004 4:55 PM Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Aroid Cook Book
> On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 10:05:09 +0000, "Julius Boos" wrote: > > Your
reference to 'smelly veggies' I find puzzling, ask any IAS member > about
the aroids that have been prepared and served to our members at > several
functions in Miami and here in WPB. > > > Ask me! Julius did a program on
edible aroids for the Begonia Society last > year, and I'm still dreaming
about the delicious food he prepared for us. > Julius, is there a
restaurant that serves those dishes prepared as well as > yours? I've got
a serious jones for calaloo! Oh, and the chubas with > chicken over rice.
Mmmmmm! > > Elizabeth
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