This week I took it upon myself to purchase some herbs to plant in some potters on the lawn. I was getting sick of the twice weekly hunt for coriander – it seems the every other supermarket only had fresh cut coriander in every two to three days so it was a bit of a gamble knowing where you could get it and when. And when you make guacamole to go with just about everything, this was becoming a serious issue! I mean who doesn’t love guac?!
If you ask the grocer if they have any coriander you are often looked at blankly in any case – it’s called cilantro here. And rocket is also called arugula – again I was faced with blank expression when asking for ‘rocket’. So fingers crossed my newly planted herbs like temperatures that don’t fluctuate between 26-30 degrees (that includes the evening) and humidity close to 100%. Will keep you posted!
Speaking of humidity, I’ve taken to making ice tea and coffee in a bid to give myself some extra energy when I’m feeling flat from the heat and humidity. Eating more just wasn’t helping – only increasing my waist line! I’ve been playing around with different flavours, and my favourite so far is a decaf vanilla chai iced tea over ice – yummo and refreshing. The iced coffee was pretty darn good too.
I must say I’m learning a lot about what fruit and vegetables are in season and when. Bermuda’s soil is very shallow – only a few inches deep in most places, and with the summer heat, it’s difficult to grow much here at this time. Because of this, and the limited land available for growing, Bermuda is very reliant on the US for food supplies.
Bermuda’s close ties with the US were again evident with the island’s July 4th celebrations. There’s quite a number of American’s living and working here – particularly in the insurance and finance sectors. I spent the July 4th evening with a bunch of South Africans and an Irishman (no Americans I know..) watching the fireworks at Elbow Beach. Hundreds of people gathered on the beach with picnics and bbqs (alcohol is totally fine on the beaches here), and we were sat right next to the area where they lit of the fireworks – there was literally a piece of rope showing the area they were setting off the fireworks. Not exactly high security, more like ‘island security’. I’ve never sat so close to fireworks in my life – though you had to wear sunglasses so the debris didn’t get in your eyes (of course I only figured this out after the first bit landed in my eye). It was a lot of fun.
I thought it would be amiss of me not to make a mention about at least one of the random food/drink combinations here, so I thought I’d share this Facebook post to see if anyone else thinks this is a totally absurd creation??? I mean raisin bread and fish is one thing, but guinness and ice cream!? that is another. Though, part of me is very tempted to try it!
As you can probably picture by now Bermuda is a real melting pot of cultures and ethnicities – the majority being of African and European descent. Portuguese influence is quite strong here (from 1840 Portuguese immigrants came to Bermuda from Azores, also in the Northern Atlantic, recruited as cheap labour for farming) and although English is the main language some people also speak Portuguese. Maybe it’s no surprise about the diversity of food on offer and the unique mix of ingredients that just seem to work.
Kiwi in Bermuda