Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goombay 2010

All the talk before Goombay was arepas, at least among the cognoscenti who like to eat odd food while standing up.It is impossible to deny that there are some few people in Key West who don't much care for Goombay, a weekend festival supposed to celebrate Bahamian culture, such as it is. There was pigeon peas and rice for sale, conch in fritters and in salad and barbecue. But there was more. There were arepas.Arepas are Colombian food and very good they are too. When my wife and I sailed to San Andreas in Colombia we used to eat from little street stands selling weak coffee, actual Colombian style oddly enough, and little fried treats including arepas. In the US these fried corn cakes, sweet and oily are grilled and filled with molten white cheese and they are still sweet and oily and utterly delicious. We ate several. Goombay is about food.

This is the week when Bill from Buffalo, New York, comes to Key West. Two years ago he spotted me at Goombay and frightened the shit out of me by coming up to me and accusing me of being the author of this blog. Last year he ordered me try alligator. This year we snacked on fried pork skins, crackling of epic size and crunchiness.Like I said it's all about the food. Try the meat pies. Can I have a smile? I asked. She obliged.
Diana, Bill's camera shy wife, bought fried plantain chips. Lots of salt and quite delicious.
I exaggerate of course. Goombay is also about dust catchers.

Crepes aren't Bahamian but the crepe place is down here these days so it's just another flavor in the mix.
Goombay is also about fellowship and meeting friends.
I never saw creole cooking in the Family Islands...
...but I had some at Goombay...
...before I went to work.
There was music too, put on by students from Gerald Adams school, and tin drums actually are Trinidadian I think. Close enough.
We had to be at Goombay early owing to my work requirements but there were lots of people enjoying themselves early hanging out with friends.

Some of us have metaphorical monkeys on our backs, others have real ones, in diapers.Cotton candy brings joy.
Tables are in short supply.
Nice hat- it would go with my Crocs.
Nice funnel cakes too. I wouldn't know though, as my wife wanted one last arepa instead of a funnel cake.
Pigeon peas and conch salad are actual Bahamian food.

Quite possibly authentic Puerto Ricans but they didn't have any lechon with them. Roast suckling pig. Oh well.
Petronia Street. Bye bye Goombay for another year. I'll be back next year, if I'm spared.