Your Amazing Race: A Paradise Beginning in The US Virgin Islands

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Callaloo (or Kallaloo)
By comparing the histories of the Carribean and Louisiana, there is no surprise that the food would share a certain set of flavors. Callaloo is essentially a Caribbean form of gumbo. While many native Louisianans would argue that gumbo is in a classification of its own, it can most closely be related to a stew. This Caribbean version is made from the leaves of the dasheen plant. For those of you, like myself, who have never heard of the dasheen plant, this ingredient can be substituted with taro leaves or spinach. Southerners can even throw in a bushel of collards. Like gumbo, Callaloo is usually flavored with okra, salted meats, hot and black pepper, fish, onions, and spices. However, feel free to toss in any favorite from your pantry or spice cabinet.

"The following recipe is from Emeril Lagasse: 4 Servings Total Time: 35 min Prep: 20 min Cook: 15 min Ingredients: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup chopped yellow onions 1 sweet potato, peeled and small diced 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons minced, seeded scotch bonnet pepper, depending upon taste 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 pound fresh callaloo leaves or spinach (about 8 cups of leaves), ribs/stems discarded, well rinsed, and chiffonaded 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk 3 cups water Directions: In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, garlic, peppers, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook stirring for 30 seconds. Add the greens and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and the water. Cook, stirring, until the leaves and sweet potatoes are tender and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot or warm with rice and hot pepper sauce on the side."

The (Un)Official Drink of the Virigin Islands: The Painkiller
The islands are famous for the love of their rum. This liquor has been a major commodity since colonial times. As an amateur mixologist, I’m surprised when I come across a cocktail that I’ve never heard of. This drink is posted all over the forums, but people who have visited the islands and craved this drink when they returned home.The recipe calls for an ingredient called Coco Lopez, which is cream of coconut. Many posters on the forums say that this unique ingredient can be found the baking section of grocery stores in the States. Also, fans of this beverage recommend mixing the juices in a blender. The coconut oils tend to separate and the blender solves this issue. However, the recipes emphasize that just the juices are blended. The rum and nutmeg should be added last.

1.5 oz Orange Juice
1.5 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Coco Lopez
1.5 oz Dark Rum
Fresh Nutmeg

Mix the juices together in a cocktail shaker or blender. Once combined, pour into an ice filled glass. Add the rum on top and add the grated nutmeg. The amount of nutmeg is based on taste. This is not a garnish, but a true ingredient. Finish with some island flair! Pop in a swizzle stick, orange slice, and maraschino cherry as garnish.