Food & Drink | Windrush Learning Resource | Sorrel & Black Cake


[Caribbean music] So, there were no Caribbean restaurants, were
there Andrew? Our house was the Caribbean restaurant and
loads of people use to just float to my Mum’s house. My Grandmother and my Mum used to be really
good with stuff like that. So I learned from them, because I was in the
kitchen with them with my Mum cooking and stuff like that. ‘Cause I started cooking when I was… I was 11 years of age when I started cooking! Food from Jamaica, the smells and spices of
Jamaica; you almost felt like you were in Jamaica. My Mum was kind of the greatest influence
in the household and she did all the cooking apart from my Dad would make us supper sometimes,
and he used to make this – again, we were talking about this recently – like cornmeal, it’s polenta now, and it’s kind of a in-vogue dish, polenta. But to me, the polenta just tastes like the
cornmeal that my Dad used to make us, like with the millk, more like a porridge. A lot of the things that we eat, that a lot
of people don’t realise that we eat as African-Caribbeans, it does go back to the slavery days in terms
of, you weren’t given the best cuts but you made the best out of them, you know. She used to cook pigs feet for him as well,
just boil them for ages and erm, yeah.. but my Dad used to love it, and I used to, again,
I remember having bits of that meat and quite liking it, whereas now it would be just like
ew. My Mum is a fantastic cake baker, she’s quite
known n the area of Chapeltown for her cake as well. My Mum’s cake, I suppose it would be like
the black cake, and she would soak those fruit, the fruit for the cake, all year-round, because
she knew she was going to be making cakes, cakes, cakes. It’s to the point where, when you open the
container that had the fruits in *coughs* it would hit you right in the back of the
throat. And it was just the smell, it was yeah, it
was heaven. And it was reminiscent of Christmas and celebrations. I used to go to my Grandma’s for dinner, Sunday
dinner, I miss Sunday dinner – Yeah she used to do some good Sunday dinners
didn’t she – Nana did Sunday dinner every single Sunday
probably until a few years ago. – Rice and peas and chicken. But the one thing that we all had and we all
still do to this day is that, when we had Christmas dinner, we had rice and peas. And so, it’s kind of just a – that’s the kind
of outstanding West Indian tradition that’s stuck with us all because that’s what we all
like. And so, for us, Christmas dinner without rice
and peas is kind of, not Christmas dinner. At Christmas time, they got like, a sorrel
tree, that grow about that tall, and all the branches got sorrel. And when Christmas time, they’re ripe, you
pick them and dry them in the sun. You know, you boil the water, and you put
it overnight to soak and you put your ginger, your grated ginger, and you put the hot water,
you put the sorrel to soak and your lemon. And then you boil it from tonight and then
leave it to cool. Tomorrow you sweeten it with your sugar and
you put your bit of rum in. *laughs* You sweeten it down with sugar and you put
it down for about two weeks. And when you go to drink it, I’d have had
some here but I don’t drink it now. Sorrel, aw it’s lovely man. [Caribbean music]

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