In the past two chapters I wrote about the two ethnic cuisines that remind me most of home while being a student here in the city. In this chapter I am talking about the best Caribbean cuisine located in the Bronx. Caribbean culture was all very new to me when I first moved to New York. Previously living in California, I did not find as much Caribbean influence there as there is here in the city, due to its proximity to the West Indies. Since the early 1900s, Caribbean immigration to New York City had an influx of people from Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
While all the countries have slightly different styles in cuisine, the majority of the dishes consist of rice, beans, plantains, jerk chicken and oxtail. I asked a fellow coworker of mine where she thought was the best place to get Caribbean cuisine in the Bronx. She was originally born in the Dominican Republic, but eventually gained citizenship and was raised in the Bronx. Jokingly she told me the best place for Dominican cuisine was in her mom’s kitchen, but then she told me about a restaurant called Feeding Tree.
Feeding Tree is located in the Bronx close to Yankee Stadium. Take the 4, B, or D train to the 161 St. Yankee Stadium stop and walk a short distance to the restaurant. It is a very simply decorated restaurant and the menu has two columns “meat dishes” and “seafood.” You choose a dish, and then which size you’d like. Most of the dishes remain under or around $10. Feeding Tree’s most popular dish is the oxtail meat platter, which comes with rice and another side. The service is great; the portions are filling, and, most importantly, you can adequately taste the flavors of Caribbean spices.
If you have never eaten Caribbean food before, you should definitely give it a try, especially if you are into Indian and Eastern Asian cuisines. Similarly to those cuisines, Caribbean food is very flavorful and takes ingredients from those places it has been influenced. If you are also interested in immersing more into Caribbean culture, this Labor Day weekend the 49th annual New York Caribbean Carnival is kicking off on Thursday, September 1. This four-day extravagant event will include street vendors cooking up authentic Caribbean cuisine, music filled shows, vendors selling Caribbean jewelry/crafts and a carnival parade on Labor Day. The festival will take place in Crown Heights with the parade on Eastern Parkway. Next week, for my final chapter on ethnic cuisine outside Manhattan, I will be talking about the various food festivals that offer diverse options in cuisine all in one place!
By: Tricia Vuong
Tricia Vuong is a publishing intern here at the Campus Clipper. She is currently studying Journalism + Design at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts with a minor in Global Studies. Check out more of her work on her portfolio.
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