Location: Roseau, Dominica
Today turned out to be one of the best days on the trip so far. I woke up unaware of the edible adventure wed be embarking on. We went on a tour with our guide, referred to as Sea Cat, and got to see Dominica and all of the local fruits it has to offer. First, we stopped on the side of the road and designated climbers to go to the top of guava trees and toss the ripe fruit down so we could bite into our first taste of Dominica. After driving along with the lush and winding Caribbean roads, we reached a fruit garden scattered with grapefruit, orange, banana, and tangerine trees as I navigated through the plants I peeled the green-yellow skin off a grapefruit, which is apparently the Lexis of grapefruits according to Pancho, our tour guide from yesterday’s hike. Then I was handed some sugar cane, which was the perfect sweet contrast to the tart grapefruit flavor. After lots of tree climbing and fruit picking our bags were filled to the brim, and even some of the guys’ shirts, which they used as makeshift bags just to bring more fruit back to the boat. We don’t have to worry about scurvy on this boat, that’s for sure. Our next stop was at a waterfall called Emerald Pool, where we could cool off in the chilly water and snag some handmade souvenirs. We then continued driving and, along the way, stopped to try some cocoa beans that have a surprisingly sweet and delicious flavor but are very bitter if you bite into them. We stopped to visit some friends of Sea Cat, who were so welcoming and brought out a feast of different things to taste, starting with a passion fruit complete with cane sugar. It quickly became my favorite new fruit. Thereafter came some pure chocolate, too bitter for my liking, but excellent when concocted with more sugar and evaporated milk. It even served as some chocolate lipstick for shipmates Tor and Jennie, and almost started an argument about who could finish the last licks of the bowl. Sea Cat then handed out some large leaves to use as plates for avocado, breadnuts (which looked like roasted chestnuts and tasted like potatoes), soursop, breadfruit (fittingly named), and delicious jerk chicken with a kick. We said our thanks and goodbyes to Sea Cats friends and continued our journey first drinking some fresh coconut water and then cutting the coconuts open to eat the flesh. Our last stop was at a bakery where they make cassava bread from the root of the cassava plant. Sea Cat explained to us the process of grinding and sifting the roots to make the bread, then adding ginger and coconut. We got to taste test the chewy flatbread and detect the hints of ginger and cocoanut, thus concluding our yummy journey through Dominica.