Another #FoodieFriday with Cruzan Foodie! This week’s foodie find is often considered one of the official dishes of the US Virgin Islands but I won’t lie – it was something that I learned to appreciate when I was older. Kallaloo is a traditional soup made with an assortment of leafy greens, okra, seafood and/or pork and served over a ball of fungi in true Crucian style.
This traditional New Year’s dish in the US Virgin Islands is said to bring good luck in the New Year, especially for lovers. Old time Crucians swear by the notion that if you serve this dish to your darling on Old Year’s night, there will be a wedding by June. Oddly enough, they don’t exactly specify WHOSE wedding it will be but you get the gist of it all!
SEE ALSO: Foodie Friday: Fish & Fungi
Kallaloo originated in West Africa much like many of our Caribbean dishes. When Africans were brought to the Caribbean as slaves, they would forage for local ingredients and boil them up to make a hearty one-pot stew. Back then, taro leaves – sometimes called callaloo – grew in abundance throughout the islands, becoming the essential ingredient in this dish. Today, spinach is most widely used as the base for this green, leafy soup. To add some substance to kallaloo that will stick to your ribs, ground provisions like tannia and dasheen is often found in the soup. You might even find some pumpkin in there to add a hint of sweetness to the dish.
While it doesn’t photograph well, the flavors in kallaloo are absolutely divine. Green onion, celery, thyme and parsley are the seasonings often used to make kallaloo with fresh fish, crabs, conch, lobster and smoked pork or pigtail giving it a robust flavor. Trust me, this is unlike any other soup you may have had in the past. Crucian kallaloo is a true delicacy that may not be for everybody, but you owe it to yourself to try it at least once!
Here are a few places on St. Croix where you can get a taste of this local dish on specific days of the week. Make sure to call ahead first as to eliminate any disappointment!
Junie’s Bar & Restaurant
132 Peters Rest
Cast Iron Pot
North Shore Road
10A La Grande Princesse
The Kallaloo Man
Under the Taman Tree
Located in Basin Triangle in Christiansted
While in St. Croix wr took a rainy day and explored the closed pier at Fredrickstead, but more so the food. We stopped at a small charming place with a man flowing good vibes with a wooden flute!
Brunch was what we were after!!! My wife and daughter ordered amazing fried French toast, my friend had chicken and waffles, and I dove into a mahi, lobster, conch, shrimp Kallaloo!!!
Instantly amazing creamy broth!!! The okra, spinach, onion all melted together in this slow cooked broth with perfect seasoning!! I threw in a touch of the local habanero sauce for my crave for spicy is never ending. This dish was, to me, collard greens meets jambalaya and create a smooth creamy wave of flavor on your tongue!
CIBONE gave us an amazing rainy day escape with amazing ambiance(island style) and wonderful food!! Dont let me forget about an amazing sea grape mimosa (bottomless for $25), best Mimosa i have ever tasted! Sunday brunch!!! Amazing!!!
Sounds like you had a great foodie experience here on St. Croix. Kallaloo is a one of a kind dish that we enjoy so much here. Glad you got to experience it.