Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit
A Culinary MemoirBook - 2000
Praised as "masterful" by the New York Times and "uncommonly talented" by Publishers Weekly and winner of the 1999 Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, Austin Clarke has a distinguished reputation as one of the preeminent Caribbean writers of our time. In Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit , he has created a tantalizing "culinary memoir" of his childhood in Barbados. Clarke describes how he learned traditional Bajan cooking--food with origins in the days of slavery, hardship, and economic grief--by listening to this mother, aunts, and cousins talking in the kitchen as they prepared each meal.
Pig Tails 'n Breadfruit is not a recipe book; rather, each chapter is devoted to a detailed description of the ritual surrounding the preparation of a particular native dish--Oxtails with Mushrooms, Smoked Ham Hocks with Lima Beans, or Breadfruit Cou-Cou with Braising Beef. Cooking here, as in Clarke's home, is based not on precise measurements, but on trial and error, taste and touch. As a result, the process becomes utterly sensual, and the author's exquisite language artfully translates sense into words, creating a rich and intoxicating personal memoir.