GRENADA – GRENADA

Djaci na povratku iz skole-Returning from school

Djaci na povratku iz skole-Returning from school

Ozbiljna policijska skola-A serous police school

Ozbiljna policijska skola-A serous police school

Pijaca suvenira i zacina na plazi-A craft and spice market on the beach

Pijaca suvenira i zacina na plazi-A craft and spice market on the beach

Pogled sa tvrdjave Fort George na istoimeni glavni grad-A view of the capital from Fort George

Pogled sa tvrdjave Fort George na istoimeni glavni grad-A view of the capital from Fort George

Radinost na plazi-Artisan on the beach

Radinost na plazi-Artisan on the beach

Restoran na plazi-A restaurant at the beach

Restoran na plazi-A restaurant at the beach

Tirkizne vode Grenade-Turquoise waters of Grenada

Tirkizne vode Grenade-Turquoise waters of Grenada

Zalazak sunca na plazi-The sunset at Grand Anse Beach

Zalazak sunca na plazi-The sunset at Grand Anse Beach

Grenada, Kariaku i Mali Martinik čine ovu ostrvsku  državicu u Karipskom arhipelagu, poznatu još pod imenom Ostrvo začina, jer u njoj u najvećoj meri raste ono što mi nazivamo muskatnim oraščetom, a Englezi nutmeg. Toliko vas opsedne taj neobičan začin, da za kratko vreme uvidite da ga oni stavljaju u sve: negde više, negde manje, ali je u ishrani svuda zastupljen. Tako i vi onda, po povratku kući, steknete tu lepu naviku stavljanja tog začina i tamo gde se ne bi očekivalo, a to jelo dobije neki začudan, egzotični ukus. Myristica fragrans, kako mu glasi lep botanički naziv, asocira tako na mistični parfem potekao sa Molučkih ostrva, odakle su ga u XIX veku moreplovci doneli na Grenadu. Na taj način je ova mala zemlja postala drugi svetski proizvođač ovog začina. Stavljao sam ga na sladoled i u koktele, u čaj i kafu, supe i čorbe, jela i salate, čak ga koristio u lekovite svrhe i – uvek se pokazao dobrim. Njegovo veličanstvo nutmeg oličenje je grenadskog kulinarstva koje je veoma lepo, i po ukusu i po izgledu.

Grenadu još pamtimo po američkoj invaziji osamdesetih godina XX veka, kada se američki predsednik Regan uplašio od prisustva Kubanaca na tom ostrvu. Neki lagani socijalistički duh kao da je ostao u opuštenim stanovnicima i prolazima prekrivenim patinom gradića Svetog Đorđa (St. George’s), koji se smatra glavnim gradom. Stara tvrđava Fort George dominira gradom. Njeni zarđali topovi, između bugenvilija, upereni su u kruzere, savremene morske “nemani”, koje uplovljavaju u luku, donoseći hiljade turista kao neki vid nove američke invazije. Tužna policijska postaja na vrhu tvrđave nemoćno pokušava da izbaci čuvare reda na sunce, koje nema milosti.

Uragani raznih imena (“Ivan”, “Emili”) voleli su da se poigravaju ovim ostrvom, uglavnom ostavljajući pustoš. Zanimljiva je anegdota da su im Kinezi veoma pomogli u obnovi zemlje, a na proslavi zahvalnosti na gradskom stadionu, Grenađani su im greškom odsvirali himnu Tajvana. Njihova ležernost i nezainteresovanost beskrajna je do te mere da vam to u početku veoma smeta, a zatim se i sami prepustite opštoj obamrlosti. Najbolje je onda otići na jednu od najlepših plaža na ostrvu, Grand Anse, i tu provesti ostatak dana u toploj tirkiznoj vodi i na belom pesku. Na taj način se efikasno leči nedostatak volje za drugim aktivnostima. Ručak u skromnom restoranu, sa bogatim menijem, prefinjeno dopunjuje lepotu prirode, dok nutmeg diskretno dominira čulima u kojima ostaje da lebdi još dugo po odlasku sa ostrva.

Lepo je i to što na taj način postaje deo domaćeg kulinarstva, u koje unosi karipski duh.

Oktobar 2007.
___________________________________________________________

Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique comprise this island statelet in the Caribbean, otherwise known as the Spice Island, because it grows nutmeg in large quantities. This exotic spice is unavoidable, and you realise soon that they put it in everything; it is to be found in all dishes, in smaller or larger quantities. And then, once you are back home, you have already developed this nice habit of putting nutmeg in dishes where you would least expect it, and the dish gets an unusual, exotic taste. Myristica fragrans is its beautiful botanical name, bringing associations of a mystic perfume, originating in the Moluccan islands, from where it was taken to Grenada by the seafarers in the 19th century. Thus, this little country has become the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg. I have sprinkled it on top of ice-cream, put into cocktails, in tea and coffee alike, in soups and broths, in main dishes and salads, I even used it for its medicinal properties, – and it never failed me. Its majesty nutmeg is the signature of Grenada’s  cuisine which is very appealing in both taste and looks.

We also remember Grenada due to the  American invasion in the 1980s when the American president Reagan got worried about the Cuban presence on this island. A leisurely spirit, reminiscent of socialist countries, has persisted in relaxed local people and the old-fashioned streets of St George’s, the capital. The old Fort George dominates the city. Its rusty cannons, among bouganvillia flowers, point to the cruise ships, modern sea monsters  which bring thousands of tourists, seemingly in an entirely new American invasion. The military outpost on top of the fort seems helpless and abandoned in the relentless sun.

For some reason, hurricanes with names like Ivan or Emily, liked to play on this island, mostly leaving havoc in their wake. An interesting anecdote is that the Chinese helped them rebuild the country after one disaster, and as a token of their gratitude, during a ceremony at the city stadium, the Grenadians played the Taiwanese anthem by mistake. Their carelessness and disinterest is such that at first it really gets you annoyed, until you, yourself,  succumb in the end to this lackadaisical spirit. Then it is best to go to Grand Anse, one of the most beautiful beaches on this island and spend the rest of the day in warm turquoise water and on powder white sand. This is a very effective cure against laziness and lack of enthusiasm for other activities. Lunch in a modest restaurant with opulent menu nicely complements the surrounding natural beauty, while nutmeg continues to dominate your senses, in a subtle way, long after you have left the island.

In this way nutmeg becomes part of any local cuisine, bringing along a waft of the Caribbean fragrance.

October 2007

Leave a Reply