Callaloo

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For other uses, see Callaloo (disambiguation).
Callaloo
Callaloo.jpg
Type Stew
Place of origin West Africa
Main ingredients Leaf vegetable (usually amaranth, taro or Xanthosoma)
Cookbook:Callaloo  Callaloo

Callaloo (sometimes calaloo or kallaloo) is a popular Caribbean dish originating in West Africa served in different variants across the Caribbean. The main ingredient is a leaf vegetable, traditionally either amaranth (known by many local names, including callaloo or bhaaji), taro or Xanthosoma. Both are known by many names, including callaloo, coco, tannia, bhaaji, or dasheen bush. Because the leaf vegetable used in some regions may be locally called "callaloo" or "callaloo bush", some confusion can arise among the vegetables and with the dish itself. Outside of the Caribbean, water spinach is occasionally used. Trinidadians and Dominicans primarily use taro/dasheen bush for callaloo, although Dominicans also use water spinach. Jamaicans, Belizeans and Guyanese on the other hand use the name callaloo to refer to amaranth, and use it in a plethora of dishes and also a drink ('callaloo juice'). The 'callaloo' made in Jamaica is different from the 'callaloo' made in Trinidad and Tobago in terms of main ingredient (the leaf used) and other ingredients included (for example, Jamaicans tend to use only callaloo leaf, salt, onions, and scallions, and simply steam the vegetable, while Trinidadians use okra and coconut milk to make a different dish with a different taste and consistency). Callaloo is the National Dish of Trinidad and Tobago.

Plant sources for callaloo leaves[edit]

Callaloo recipes[edit]

Callaloo in Trinidad & Tobago and other eastern Caribbean countries is generally made with okra and dasheen or water spinach Ipomoea aquatica. There are many variations of callaloo which may include coconut milk, crab, conch, Caribbean lobster, meats, chili peppers, and other seasonings such as chopped onions and garlic. The ingredients are added and simmered down to a somewhat stewlike consistency. When done, callaloo is dark green in color and is served as a side dish which may be used as a gravy for other food.

Callaloo is widely known throughout the Caribbean and has a distinctively Caribbean origin, created by enslaved Africans using ideas of the indigenous people along with both African (okra) and indigenous (Xanthosoma) plants. (See Palaver sauce for the West African dish.) African Americans invented a version of the original West African dish known as collard greens. Trinidadians have embraced this dish from their ancestors and over time have added ingredients such as coconut milk to modify its flavor. Callaloo is mostly served as a side dish, for Trinidadians, Bajans, and Grenadians it usually accompanies rice, macaroni pie, and a meat of choice. In Guyana it is made in various ways without okra.

In Jamaica, callaloo is often combined with saltfish and is usually seasoned with tomatoes, onion, escallion, scotch bonnet peppers and margarine/cooking oil and steamed. It is often eaten with roasted breadfruit, boiled green bananas and dumplings and it is a popular breakfast dish.

In the Virgin Islands, callaloo is served with a dish of fungee on the side.

In Guadeloupe, "calalou au crabe" (crab callaloo) is a traditional Easter dish.

A similar variation is the recipe called "Laing" which is popular in the Philippines, mainly the Bicol region.

References[edit]

External links[edit]