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A Culinary peek into Guyana: “The Making of the Pinetart”!

Image courtesy http://www.infoplease.com

Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of┬á Guyana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America. Culturally, it is considered part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and for about 200 years – the British. Remnants of its Dutch history are present in many ways in modern-day Guyana, perhaps most distinctively in the names of its streets and towns. It is the only country in South America where the official language is English. The country is bordered by Suriname to the East, Brazil to the South & Southwest and Venezuela to the West. The population of this diverse and beautiful country is about 770,000 – just under one million. In contrast, the landmass is approximately 214,970 sq km! Known as “The Land of Many Waters”, this tropical country boasts of majestic waterfalls – most popular being the Kaieteur Falls, vast expanses of rivers, Amazon-type rainforest and about seven tribes of Amerindians. Other languages spoken on this mainland include Cariban, Guyanese Creole, Spanish & Portuguese. Welcome to the beautiful Guyana!

Today I am sharing a recipe for one of Guyana’s sweet delicacies – the pinetart or pineapple tart. What sets this pastry apart is the crust. It is usually a deliciously thick, crunchy and flavourful crust. I’m still trying to get it right! Nevertheless, here it is in pictures. Enjoy this culinary peek into a majestic land!

You can either choose to prepare the pastry filling from scratch or substitute with store-bought jam. Depending on the option you choose, the steps will be slightly different. I chose the faster route – store-bought jam ­čÖé

You will need: 1lb (16oz) flour, 1/2 lb (8oz) shortening, 1 large egg, 1 bottle pineapple jam (or 2 cans crushed pineapple & sugar)
STEP 1: Prepare the Pastry: Mix flour and shortening together until the mixture is crumbly like bread crumbs.

STEP 2: Slowly add iced water and gently knead until you have a soft dough. Separate into small balls, spread flat and place a small amount of pineapple filling in the centre of each circle.

STEP 3: Fold dough over filling to form triangles. Prick the edges shut with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastry with egg. Place into 350F oven and bake for approx 20-25 mins/ until done

VOILA! You’re done. Enjoy warm out of the oven or when cool.

Stay tuned for more on Guyana – especially of course socio-economics – in the coming weeks! If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to click to follow ISLAND VIGNETTES, leave a comment or hit LIKE!

 

 

 

A few moments with Jamaican Chef Brian Lumley

Given the recent increase in General Consumption Tax (GCT) in Jamaica, grocery shopping is a penny-pinching affair. Indeed this is something many persons are grappling with given the state of┬áthe world economy.┬áThe words “Global financial crisis” have┬ánot only emblazoned themselves┬ápermanently in our memories, but is a constant companion in the shopping basket.┬áI was fortunate to run into one of Jamaica’s famous home-grown Chefs – Brian Lumley – on a Saturday sojourn to the supermarket. Not only was I treated to fancy fare – (white & red wine (Zinfandel & Muscat), jerk chicken with mango chutney) – but I was able to spend a few minutes talking to this amazing young man.

Enjoy this peek at him mixing the charm in with his special marinade recipe. Read more about Brian and his achievements here –┬á The Chef on the rise Nominees