Caribbean Weekly: Dominican Dish Mountain Chicken Is A Frog
A Dominican’s palette does not differ much from normal Eastern Caribbean fare, however the nation’s identity is certainly shown clearly with the unique tastes of local populace. As with many countries, Dominica’s cuisine was influenced directly by the landscape of the island. The combination of root crops such as yams, sweet potatoes, tannias and seafood have served both residents and visitors to the nature island well for centuries. That being said, there are some special meals that Dominicans can proudly point to as being indigenous to their culture. Below, Buzzebly places the spotlight on a few of the island’s favourite dishes.
Dominica’s national dish was once the playfully termed ‘mountain chicken’, which was in actuality a species of frog that is native not only to Dominica, but to nearby Montserrat as well. Only the legs of the mountain chicken are used and the serving size usually ranges from 12 to 16 legs (6 to 8 frogs). Today, locals are now encouraged to steer away from this delicacy, as regular consumption has led the ‘mountain chicken’ to near extinction.
Dominica, and all Dominicans by extension, has a longstanding relationship with tea. The word tea has a broader meaning on the island than in most of the rest of the English speaking world. Tea does not merely refer to the dried leaves imported commonly from Asia. Dominicans also drink cocoa tea, bush teas, hibiscus tea (sorrel), medicinal teas, hot teas and cooling teas. Actually the word tea refers to the first meal of the day instead of the word breakfast. This comes from the days of the plantation when tea was taken at sunrise before going to work.
Perhaps one of the oldest and most basic is the one-pot dish, or braf. One-pot cooking simply means placing all the ingredients you have, whatever they may be, in one large pot, cooking them up in water and seasoning to create a nutritious broth. Fish braf, and pig and cow’s foot braf are the most popular versions of the meal on the island.