There are certain times of the year the energy on the island shifts. It goes from our usual laid back vibe to a more excited hum. One of those times is in the month of April for the Taste of St. Croix–the main event of the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience. A culinary gathering of epic proportions, celebrity chefs, local chefs, restaurants, and people from all over the world come to the island to share some of the best in what we have to offer! This year I was asked to be a Judge in the Local Fare Category. I was blown away by the spirit of creativity and food genius I sampled. There is such amazing talent on this little Rock. This Rambling shares just a tip of a huge iceberg of sights and tastes I experienced both there and at the V.I. Department of Agriculture’s Taste of St. Croix, where some of our local farmers congregated to share their harvests.
It was an amazing time for food, an amazing time for the island, and an amazing time to witness what community looks like on such a grand scale. As a writer I always have something to say…some way to describe a moment that helps whoever is reading to be placed right in the center of the happenings. But for some reason I still have no words. It was beyond inspiring, beyond words…it just had to be experienced. If you ever have a chance to visit the island during “Taste Week”, I hope you do. Then feel free to share some words with those of us who still are trying to wrap our minds around what an incredible time it was. Are you packing yet?!
Christina Murphy owns a local cupcake company–Dulce Cupcakery. Her work is beyond amazing and yes they taste as good as they look. She is half Bahamian, so she also had some good insight and suggestions for my last post on Conch Salad. If you ever have the chance to sample one of her treats, DO!!
Sigh. One of my favorite restaurants on the island is Tutu Bene. The photo above is a gigantic version of their “Taste of Tutu Bene” antipasto platter…roasted garlic, blue cheese, roasted peppers, croutons, olives, cheeses. I’m exhausted just typing about it. Tooooooooooo good!
I think the word for the treats above is simple: Deliciousness!
The photo above is from the Department of Agriculture’s Taste of St. Croix. One of my all time favorite farmers on the island, Yvette Brown of Sejah Farms. I didn’t get the name of the beautiful lady modeling that papaya, but she had such an awesome model-tastic spirit! Yes, that was the kind of energy that permeated the entire day! Pride, food, laughter, and community.
The Moringa plant is the rage on the island. It’s health benefits are touted for everything that ails you. I met some farmers from “Three A We Farm” who are packaging and sharing this healthy super food goodness! I haven’t torn into my bag yet, but I can’t wait!
Another farmer favorite! Mrs. Cornelius. Her name alone deserves its own sentence. Her personality is as sunshine yellow and joyful as the beautiful piece of pumpkin she’s holding up that she grew herself. For as long as I have known her she is NEVER without her smile. It makes sense that the earth would yield such incredible foods under her nurturing hand. Love her too bad!
The V.I. Honey Man. His work in sharing and propagating bee cultivation and understanding on the island is legendary! He loves what he does, and you can taste it in his honey! It is the workhorse of my kitchen. You can taste the entire island in one sticky-sweet bite!
The island is brimming with life and fantastic life-giving foods. Having the chance to participate in events that celebrate our rich culinary tapestry was a gift that I will cherish for a very long time. Community. Positivity. Food sharing. Love.