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A TASTE OF THE ISLANDS
[NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]
Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: Carter, Sylvia
Date: Feb 4, 1987
Start Page: 11
Section: FOOD
Abstract (Document Summary)

There are markets which stock red, yellow and hairy yams and ackee and callaloo in cans, bakeries where meat-filled Jamaican patties are sold to be wrapped in a slab of coco bread and eaten out of hand. Signs proclaim the presence of "hardo" bread, baked in fancy shapes including a likeness of the mongoose which is said to have eradicated snakes from the island. Along the street are more reminders of sunny isles: an herb shop that sells dried sorrel and eateries that serve thick milk-shake-like drinks made of Irish moss (also called sea moss, and said to be an aphrodisiac), curried goat, jerk chicken with johnny cakes and cow cod soup. Cow cod soup, judging by the many signs that announce it, is the most favored Jamaican national dish other than ackee; men believe that eating the sex organs of male cattle increases their virility.

Walk in either direction along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn after parking at the municipal lot at the corner of Caton and you will find patties everywhere. Jamaican patties are sold in restaurants, bakeries, even ice cream stores. Everyone has a favorite patty-maker. Some say Christie's on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn was first and best, others swear by Royal Caribbean in the Bronx and Tastee on Hillside Avenue in Queens. Cora Barnett, who hails from St. Elizabeth in the western part of Jamaica, is partial to the patties at Supreme Bakery, with savory filling and flaky pastry. Ask for coco bread and wrap a piece around the patty to keep it from falling apart as you eat it. That's lunch. (599 Flatbush Ave., {718} 287-6200.)

My favorite place for all things Jamaican is Evon's Appetizing Take Out Restaurant, where Theresa Edmonson, a woman affectionately known as "Mommy" to many of her customers, runs a big, open, Jamaican-style kitchen. Starting with breakfast, Edmonson puts her ample stew pots and blackened skillets to work on a big black stove, turning out a from-the-heart rendition of stew peas based on a foundation of juicy beans and perfectly cooked rice, brown stew fish (snapper, porgy or kingfish), the peppery broth called fish tea, fried bammy (a flat bread made of cassava). Stand by the counter and watch her slice fresh breadfruit and fry it to a beautiful crispness. Her curried goat must be the best in the borough, her oxtail stew a tender taste of home to those who grew up in Jamaica. Okra and cho cho, the small green squash, go into her stews, and her creamy carrot juice flavored with nutmeg and vanilla is perfection. Lots of takeout, little room to eat. (833 Utica Ave., between Linden and Church Avenues, {718} 342-4925.)

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