Taste of the Tropics

A planned vacation to any country in the Caribbean may bring on an instant feeling of enthusiasm and excitement.  If  the destination is anything like the island of Barbados with its aquamarine colored waters, powdery sands, gentle breezes, and a whole lot of other interests, then it makes it even more intriguing to visit.  The surf, sea, sand, and warm weather are part and parcel of the 166 square mile landscape, and sweet local fruits and produce are an added bonus for the traveler foodie type who likes to indulge in tasting exotic foods.  Combinations such as these in the perfect location help to paint the picture of an idyllic life that can only be found in paradise.  A week ago, I flew to my homeland Barbados.  It was bitter sweet.  Bitter because it was for a sad occasion, and sweet because I got to see family and friends I have not seen in a while.  Moreover, it was an opportunity to pick and consume favorite fruits and produce that I have not eaten fresh from the tree for many years.

As the pilot informed passengers and stewardesses to prepare for landing, it was truly delightful to hear him over the intercom refer to the tiny island-nation as paradise.  I do too.   Clapping,  and shouts of ‘woo-hoos’ erupted around the cabin as the plane touched down on the tarmac at the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport.  I breathe a sigh of relief, whispered a prayer of thanks to God for travel mercies, and begin to anticipate the next few days ahead.  The expedition through immigration and customs was quick and seamless.

The drive through familiar neighborhoods to my family home was short and uneventful.  As my brother and I drove along, I scanned the trees to see what fruits are in season.  Summer is considered peak season for tourism and an air-ticket to come to these shores is usually beyond my budget limit, therefore, I have not visited in the summer for more than 20+ years.  To compound my travel options, the national carnival called Crop Over is hosted around then making getting here a near impossible task if you do not book the flight months in advance.  However, there are times or situations when the trip has to be made and the financial restraint has to be put aside.

Before I reached our residence, it occurred to me that I had adjusted to living without the abundant fruits available at this time, but have dearly missed all these years.  Well, to my delight, the following trees that surround our residence are currently in full bloom and bearing fruit, the colloquial names are in parenthesis: mango, avocado (pear), golden apple, soursop, carambola (five-finger), papaya (paw-paw), pomegranate and banana, as well as one of my favorite produce – breadfruit.

Here are some of them in our backyard:

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Tourist and visiting nationals who may want to take a taste of the island flavors with them back to their homeland can purchase some of these same fruits that are preserved, dried, pickled, bottled or packaged by the variety of cottage industries found on the island.  None of the fruits mentioned taken in any of these forms, as far as I know, are considered banned products.  However, taken in their natural state may encounter agricultural quarantine or prohibition.

Community Peeps, for now I am eating my fill of all the fresh fruits and produce available (I may return to North America a little heavier than when I left 😊).    Do you have favorite fruits and produce that you like to eat when you travel to the tropics or even enjoy when you go back to your home?   What has been your experience trying new fruits?  Please share with me.  Next post will be pictures of some of my favorite hang-out spots on the island.

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