Life can be pretty boring if you have a peanut butter sandwich and an apple every lunch break. If I pack my lunch the night before it tends to be a little more interesting, but not much more that leftovers from dinner. At 5.30 I’m not in the mood to rummage though the fridge or put together anything more exciting that a P and maybe J sandwich.
Scattered all over the island are little shop come restaurants that sell various cooked foods and cool drinks. The one at the end of our road used to sell beers as well. It was always busy and the only place you could get a cheep beer on a Sunday. Last Sunday, as my thirst for beer became all too apparent, I disappointingly discovered that this was no longer possible. Food only. No wonder the place was empty. Liquor board had closed them down.
So what do these establishments serve. Well they all have there own favourites but items on the menu can include things like:
Fry Chiken (always available a stable here)
Cabbage Cod Fish
Curry Goat (really popular with the Jamaicans)
All of these come with a choice of sides including white rice, rice and beans, fried dumplings, coleslaw and fried plantains. A small styrofoam box is stuffed full for only $5 or $6. I’ve tried most of the above. All are cholesterol boosting meals guaranteed to line your arteries. The dumplings are slightly sweet dough balls deep fried in the same oil as the chicken. I usually push these aside. The chicken is a whole chicken hacked up with a cleaver and either fried or stewed. I know this because each mouthful is a minefield of small bone fragments. Stew Pork is a very fatty meal, mostly fat. At least the rice absorbs some of it. I did not enjoy the curried goat as much as my work colleagues. Small bones again, strong curry flavour masking the gamey taste. I later found out that many people get sick from eating goat – probably only those brought up on Western diets.
After a meal like this you need to do something physical to help work of the lethargy that follows. Good thing work lunch breaks are only 30 minutes.
So, what’s for lunch?