Chef Simeon Hall Jr.
The National Dish of The Bahamas is........
Dis one gun be hawt!!!!!!!!!
Don't make the same mistake that I once did and ask what is the national dish of The #Bahamas. A statement that in retrospect seems presumptuous and divisive at its core. Dare I even ask what criteria was used to validate and or verify such a confession. Was this dish based on indigenous techniques, post colonization or modern day techniques? Was our Haitian, Chinese, Jamaican and Amercian- Bahamain heritage a factor? Which islands and cays were represented? Whose version was chosen? Who voted?
The simply truth of the matter is there isn't just one, there are many! How can a nation of 700 islands, cays and rocks with approximately 1/2 a million people scattered therein and around the world only be represented by a single plate? Even the weather knows and understands that The Bahamas is divided into separate and unique quadrants. That the things that affect The Northern Bahamas may not be experienced in The Southern Bahamas. So why do locals and visitors alike believe that all Bahamians are right at this very moment are eating the exact same meal prepared with the same recipe and techniques over 750 miles apart?
As I study Bahamian #culture, which is surely inclusive of its food, I understand that the common denominator is THE BAHAMAS itself. But......that quickly fades into the ISLAND SPECIFICITY that we enjoy. I truly believe that each of the major 16 islands have their own island cuisine or at the minimum The Bahamas has Northern, Southern, Central and Nassauvian cuisine.
I can see my critics already curious to ask so many questions or challenge this statement, but.......
Do you eat donkey meat?
Do you eat seagull eggs?
Do you eat pickled conch?
Do you eat mayonnaise conch salad?
Do you eat par-boiled peas n'rice?
Do you eat hot dog souse?
Do you eat stew wild boar? And the list goes on and on. All foods that are eaten in one part of our country and never in another!
Do you believe me yet?
Well technically, "Boiled Fish" is our national dish, but ask 10 Bahamians what it is and I guarantee maybe 1 person, most likely by guessing, would know. So how is anything National, an unknown?
I rest my case!
Welp! The quest to share how amazing these islands are continues. One post, one pot and one story at a time and don't forget to follow us at @dinnaclubbahamas on Instagram for a chance to eat for free with us and to join the movement!