West Indian (Caribbean) Grocery Store ?
Greetings my fellow hounds,
The wife and I just got back from a trip to the Bahamas, where we had some absolutely fantastic food on the island. Really really unique spicy goat and chicken curry, and delicious coconut based desserts.
Needless to say, the wife would like to recreate the some of the dishes we savoured.
It was quite clear that the food had a unique spice mix. Is anyone aware of a grocery store catering in the Bay Area to the Caribbean expatriate community ? Much like the British, Japanese and Indian stores all over the Bay Area !
Fingers crossed ...
The misleadingly named Oriental Lucky Mart, 535 8th Street, Oakland, (510) 452-1556. The frozen Jamaican beef patties (turnovers) are surprisingly good.
I also find a listing for African-Caribbean Food Market, 547 8th St., Oakland, (510) 444-2841. I'm not sure if that's a different place in the same block or the same business with a different dba.
FYI you can get shadon beni at better Vietnamese produce stores, where it's sold under the name ngo gai.
I have never been, but i have heard good things about Penny's in Berkeley. She must get her stuff from somewhere near by. I read an article in the last year that was talking about her goat curry.
You can probably run a search on this site and see what other's are saying. Or you could go and eat her food and then ask her where she shops for her groceries.
Let us know what you find.
Best food i ever had in Bahamas, believe it or not, was tomatoes from a farm where they grew them with almost no water. (i have never tasted anything like those tomatoes until i had the dry farmed ones from the farmer's market at the SF civic center)
An update is in order.
Firstly, Robert - cheers for your store recommendation. Oriental Lucky Mart, 535 8th Street in Oakland, does indeed have a decent selection of Caribbean spices.
The African Caribbean store at 845 8th St is a separate entity, which we did not visit.
I got the scoop on some spice brands though from a kind Trinidadian lady I met there.
The brands to buy are "Chief" and "Turban". We bought the spicy "Madras Massala" (Note the difference in spelling from the Indian - "masala").
Also, we sauntered over to Penny's where we had mind blowing Jerk Chicken Roti and "curry chicken roti". The roti is quite different from the Indian version. Tasted like a combo of wheat and chickpea flour. The jerk chicken had the meat falling off the bone, and it was simply divine.
I asked for her special sauce, which accentuated some of the other spice flavours in both the "rotis". We also had one order of "phuloris".
I'm planning to cook some island food soon. Will post some pictures when I do that !
I can't thank you enough for recommending the two carib stores. I just came back and indeed the lucky mart is great! See I lived in the Caribs for two years and miss some of the products and their selection is very decent. She also told me they sale fresh calaloo in the summer...what a treat!!! Yum! I love calaloo and crab soup.