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A Little History On Caribbean Cooking
The first inhabitants of the Caribbean were the Arawaks and Caribs; who used such fruits and vegetables as papaw, guavas, yams and cassava. When the Europeans came, introducing slave labour after exterminating the local Indians, the eating patterns changed. The slaves were prevented from eating fresh fish or meat. They depended on salted fish, and those parts of the animal their owners did not want. Thus we have such dishes as Fish Cakes (Barbados), Ackee and Saltfish (Jamaica), Mettagee (Guyana), (B)Oil Down (St Lucia), Pudding and Souse, Pickle Chicken Feetů.. and the list goes on. When slavery was abolished, the Europeans turned to China and India for labour, introducing yet more cooking styles. Out of our past has developed a style of cooking that is rich and colourful in its creativity.
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