Heritage Plates: Cooking with Indigenous Spices and Herbs


The Arawak Indians are the indigenous people of the West Indies. They are thought to have migrated from South America 1500 years ago. These original inhabitants of the West Indies were known as a peaceful and quiet people until the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Over time as Europeans migrated and established the slave trade, many of the Arawak people died off. Much of their culture died with them with the exception of their food which still influences many island recipes today. Over the years the West Indian dinner plate has morphed into a beautiful amalgamation of diverse, rich, and spicy fresh foods with flavors from Spain, India, France, Netherlands, and West Africa. Arawak Farm® products provides a bridge to this history.

 

Sitting down to an authentic Arawak/West Indian plate looks something like this:

  • Green: an important aspect of the cuisine is green leafy vegetables, usually cooked.
  • Starches: a typical plate includes root vegetables such as plantain, potato, or yam.
  • Protein: a wide variety of seafood is readily available, but just about any type of meat is prepared in multitude of ways
  • Spicy Heat: the exciting combination of sweet and spicy can be seen throughout Arawak food in the form of a homemade pepper sauce (known as “gravy”).

The ever present pepper sauce, placed on the table before every meal, likely originates from the spices and hot peppers brought from East India with migrant laborers in the 1700's. Arawak Farm products, like Indian curries and gravies, are used as a flavor booster to nearly everything on the plate. Arawak Farm® products provide intense flavors while being more nutritious than existing hot sauces. All products are plant-based, preservative-free, non-GMO, nut and dairy-free while offering intense and unique flavor profiles!

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