Tag Archives: Caribbean

Celebrating Phagwah / Holi in Queens

India Flagtrinidadguyana_flagToday marks the colorful Hindu festival of Holi, or as it is known in Indian diaspora communities in South America and the Caribbean, Phagwah. One of the most vibrant places to celebrate the holiday outside of Indian is actually in Queens, NYC, which is home to Hindu diaspora communities from around the world including Trinidad and Guyana. The New York Times covered the Queens Holi festivities in detail in 2011, along with a photo album. The NYT also has a great Caribbean recipe for the holiday, Gogola banana fritters.

Evan Sung for The New York Times

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A taste of St. Vincent at Ethlyn’s Caribbean Bakery

stvincentEthlyn’s Caribbean Bakery (1621 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226) is in the heart of the Flatbush neighborhood on Nostrand Ave., which is the center of NYC’s Caribbean community. What is great about Flatbush is they have food from pretty much every country in the Caribbean, and while bigger countries like Trinidad and Jamaica are handsomely represented, so are the smaller countries like St. Vincent, which only has a population of 100,000.
ethlyns One of our longstanding policies is that there is no better way to experience a country than through their bakeries, so we were excited to experience some of the more unique tastes of the Caribbean at Ethlyn’s. Ethlyn’s is nothing more than a small glass counter filled with pastries and breads, both sweet and savory. Everything was super reasonably priced, and each item was no more than $3-5.

selara

We got a bright red selara coconut roll, and a currant roll. The selara, which is more unique to St. Vincent, was a super-sweet enriched roll, and was chocablock with coconut. The currant roll, which is found throughout the Caribbean, was a little more sedate. Both were tasty, though the selara did somehow manage to leave red crumbs all over, which we were still finding months later. On the savory side, we also got a saltcod patty which was touted as one of Ethlyn’s specialties. To be honest, we are more fans of the sweet treats, but if you wanted to have a fish patty, it is a good one. Other treats include a coconut tart, peanut cake, marble cake, loaves of bread and dinner rolls.

ethlyn

To wash down your treats, Ethlyn’s makes a mean sorrel drink, along with the more exotic soursop and sea-moss varieties. Ethlyn’s was a real taste of the islands, and it was a fun way to try the lesser known side of Flatbush. Plus, it is right next to a costume design shop for Carnival. What could be better?!

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A Photo Tour of London’s Brixton Market

united_kingdomWhere can you find a hipster coffee house alongside a shop selling African waxprint cloth and stalls selling Caribbean produce and Jamaican flag cellphone covers? Brixton Market! Brixton Market in South London is one of the more unique market conglomerations we have ever come across, and we loved every minute of it. Upon exiting the Brixton tube stop you are almost immediately plunged into a bustling market atmosphere, seven days a week. There are actually two parts to the market, the open air stalls lining the streets and the covered market arcade areas. One of these covered areas, “Brixton Village,” has more permanent little shops and restaurants with seating that overflows outside. There is a heavy Caribbean influence in Brixton, but you will find global gems from all over the world alongside Jamaican and Trinidadian food and produce, including Portuguese and Indian grocery stores. Though the market is open daily, there are special theme days, and even a flea market. Here’s a little photo tour of what it is like to walk through Brixton Market on a sunny but brisk Friday afternoon.

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