Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 29th 2016 Contents M
M y mother used to make
coconut tarts so plump and
crisp, so thick and sweet that
one bite transported me to nirvana.
Fresh out of the oven, the tarts (which
people in Foreign insist on calling
turnovers) exuded an aroma that could
wake me from the deepest sleep.
The first taste was always taken with
the eyes closed, as if the gooey goodness
were almost too much happiness for one
person. As the rich coconut filling with
a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon melted
on my tongue, I would sigh---a deep, con-
tented exhaling of all the cares and woes
of the day.
The childhood memories came floating
back on the journey from Maracas beach
one afternoon earlier this month. Did I
expect Mammy to be reincarnated in any
modern bakery? No, but I was in the com-
pany of someone who is always a bad
influence when it comes to calorie intake
and carbohydrates in general.
He: "I feeling for a currant roll.
Me: "They don t make em like they
used to. These days you could count the
currants they putting in the roll. And
sometimes they use raisins, not currants,
which is like using cooking oil instead of
gas in your car.
He: "Nah, man. How bad could it be?
A willing victim, I entered the bakery
and ordered a currant roll---and then, it
happened. Coconut rolls all crisp and
hunky were eyeing me from the interior
of the glass case. Sure they weren t tarts
Monday, February 29, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
but close enough. Grated
coconut, sweetened and
spiced, and baked in a
flaky pastry promised a
cheerful conflict of tex-
tures, and a skip and a
dance down memory
lane. Feeling unusually trusting, I heard my voice
ordering the pastry and for lagniappe, my evil twin
insisted on a bag of saltfish accra.
I delivered the contraband like an undercover
carbo-agent and as we fled the scene, the truth
attacked. As he tore into the currant roll, his face
crumpled like a wet paper bag. "Eeewwwww. Wey
is dis? Like dey raise VAT on currants or wha ?
The alleged currant roll was really sweetened
flour with about five
or six currants, which
made the pastry look
as if it were suffering
from a break-out of
something fatal. True
currant rolls, for your
information, are sup-
posed to be sweet,
thick and black like
molasses, and the real
test is when you look
at the bottom of your
paper bag---there are
supposed to be extra
currants in there
because they fell from
the pastry, so laden
was it with the dried
I flashed him a look
that said, "I warned you.
But I gloated too fast. I could barely taste the
coconut in the dry dough, and into the garbage
went the travesty pastry. As for the accra, I think
the baker waved the saltfish over the bowl but
forgot to actually put any in the batter. Each almost-
accra became a malicious lump, mocking me for
my stupidity and for following bad carbo-company.
He: "Gosh, this is the unluckiest bakery in
Me: "Why you say that?
He: "Because Elsa going to loud them up in her
Shocked at the characterisation of me as a bad-
mouthing exposer of pastry perpetrators, I gasped
as I dusted the illegal crumbs off my heaving bosom.
Shame, shame. My role here is not to cast asper-
sions or recipes at underachievers in aprons but
to preserve the culinary culture of this fair land.
A currant roll must have currants. A coconut roll
or tart must have grated coconut. Saltfish accra is
just fried flour without the saltfish. Get it? You
wouldn t call a car a car if it had no engine or
Dear bakers, stop being so stingy with ingredients.
Mammy and Granny taught you better. Do it right
or not at all. You are destroying memories and
minds. Our waistlines are our own responsibility.
• For an approximation of Mammy's real coconut
tart recipe (she never wrote anything down but
baked by feel and taste, partly because she was
an eccentric and partly because she just didn't care
to) write to: email@example.com.
Currant rolls crimes
My role here is not
to cast aspersions
or recipes at
aprons but to preserve
the culinary culture
of this fair land. A
currant roll must have
currants. A coconut
roll or tart must have
Saltfish accra is just
fried flour without the
saltfish. Get it? You
wouldn't call a car a
car if it had no engine
The lesson studios should
learn from Deadpool---A34
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