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Open Access

Sally Price and Richard Price

[First paragraph]The pairing of commeal and okra, which pops up everywhere in the Caribbean, nicely captures the amalgam of African and American resources that has produced so much of the region's cultures, and bears witness to the earliness of culinary creolization - on both sides of the Atlantic. Corn(maize) is, of course, native to the New World, and okra (gumbo) to the Old. The Dictionary of Jamaican English includes back-to-back entries on oka and okra - the former from a Yoruba word for corn, though in Jamaica it refers to a cassava mush served with an okra sauce (Cassidy & Le Page 1967:328). And while the Ewe word kukü means "corn dumpling" (Cassidy & Le Page 1967:135), its Caribbean cognates generally signal the presence of okra - as in Bahamian cuckoo soup (Holm 1982: 55). Just to the north in the United States, that classic of southern cuisine, fried okra, is made by coating the pods in cornmeal before dropping them in the bacon drippings. At the southern end of the Caribbean, the Brazilian dish called angu (from Yoruba - see Schneider 1991:14) is made with cornmeal (or cassava-flour); its Saramaka namesake (angu), though made with rice- or banana-flour, is usually served with an okra sauce. And in Barbados, cornmeal and okra comprise the essential ingredients of a national culinary tradition, which we will spell coo-coo.2

Open Access

Richard Price and Sally Price

[First paragraph]Our friend Charlemagne (a.k.a. Émilien), who lives down the road and considers himself a breadfruit connoisseur, says that there's only one other tree in southern Martinique whose fruit compares with ours. From our back porch, during the tree's several flowerings each year, we can reach out and piek low-growing fruit by hand, or with a knife-and-pole contraption cut down a milk-flecked orb from higher up in the broad green leaves. This particular tree may even be descended from the oldest breadfruit in the Caribbean, for Martinique was already blessed with trees, transported from "L'ïle-de-France" (Mauritius), by the time Captain Bligh made his 1791-93 voyage from Polynesia, "bringing breadfruit from what was seen to be a Tree of Life in the islands of Paradise ... the very symbol of a free and unencumbered life ... to feed slaves, the living dead of the Caribbean"(Dening 1992:4, 11).

Open Access

Richard Price and Sally Price

[First paragraph]In devoting this essay to sancocho, we continue our tradition of annual book round-ups spiced with Caribbean culinary lore. Having already served up pepperpot and rundown from the Anglophone islands, migan from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and callaloo from all of the above, the time seemed ripe to turn to the Hispanic Caribbean. And as our list of books has expanded (from the forty to fifty of previous years to nearly one hundred in this installment), a dish with as many ingredients as sancocho seemed particularly appropriate.

Open Access

Richard Price and Sally Price

[First paragraph in part]It is our pleasure to announce that in this millennial issue, the annual Caribbeanist Hall of Shame has shrunken dramatically and includes but eleven scholars and fourteen books. As always, we list those works that, as of press time (January 2000), have not been discussed because the scholars who agreed to review them have - despite reminder letters - neither provided a text nor relinquished the books so that they could be assigned to someone else. (As has become our custom, we indicate slack reviewers' names with both initial and final letters, in an attempt to forestall false accusations and protect the reputations of the innocent.) And as in past years, we hope this may serve as a kind of backlist "books received":

Open Access

Sally Price and Richard Price

[First paragraph]Another year, another monumental stack of new books with Caribbeanist interest of one sort or another. NWIG reviewers have been contributing full essays on more than seventy such books each year, but that still leaves well over one hundred others deserving of mention in this residual wrap-up of the 2000 season. We are deeply grateful to those scholars who have taken the time to provide reviews. And we are pleased to announce that the 2000 edition of the Caribbeanist Hall of Shame (created for scholars who commit themselves to reviews but then neither provide them nor relinquish the book so someone else can take on the task) has shrunk from a membership of 15 (in 1993, its inaugural year) to just two (identified, as has become our custom, by first and last initials). Despite our gentle reminders, J—e F—s failed to review The Dominican Republic and the United States: From Imperialism to Transnationalism, edited by G. Pope Atkins & Larman C. Wilson (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998, paper, US$ 20.00) and B—a S—i never came through with a review of Constructing a Colonial People: Puerto Rico and the United States, 1898-1932, by Pedro A. Caban (Boulder CO: Westview Press, 1999, cloth US$ 60.00).

Open Access

Sally Price and Richard Price

A selection of books reviewed by Richard and Sally Price.

Open Access

Sally Price and Richard Price

A selection of books reviewed by Richard and Sally Price.