Contributed by: NAPSA
Savor The Many Flavors Of An Intriguing Island
(NAPSA) - Travelers seeking a vacation destination that offers the lush warmth of the Caribbean with a French flair may want to head off to the island of Martinique.
Set in the Eastern Caribbean, the island has long been a part of France. In fact, Napoleon's wife, Josphine, was born in Martinique. The official language is French and since it is a member of the EU, the euro is the official currency. A vacation hot spot for Europeans and North Americans for some time, it attracts both upscale and more budget-conscious travelers.
The cuisine reflects the island's varied influences, mixing elements of French, African and Asian traditions. One of the most famous dishes is the Colombo, a unique curry of chicken, vegetables and rum. You can try it using this easy, elegant recipe:
- 1 medium chicken, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds pork, diced
- 1 eggplant, chopped
- 6 carrots, sliced
- 6 potatoes, peeled, diced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup rum
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ground chili peppers
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Saute the shallots in oil for 10 minutes, set aside. Brown chicken and pork in the pan, then return the shallots. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Cover and cook over low heat until chicken is tender (approximately 45 minutes).
Martinique's rums are considered among the finest anywhere.
A trip along La Route des Rhums-the Rum Road-offers a delightful way to learn how Martinique became known as "The Rum Capital of the World," a title it's held since the 18th century.
Rums produced on the island have been awarded the prestigious French designation Appellation d'Origine Control
e, previously reserved for only the finest wines in France.
The island has 11 distilleries producing more than 17 varieties of rum, as well as many local liquors made from rum, including coconut liquors, passion fruit liquors and orange-flavored shrubb. Visitors to Martinique soon realize that there is a rum for just about every palate, and seasoned connoisseurs compare the island's vintage dark rum to a superb cognac.
In the town of Sainte-Marie is the Rum Museum. Here you can learn the story of sugarcane and rum from 1765 on through an extensive exhibit and exquisite prints. In a magnificent garden, there are majestic windmills, an antique sugarcane locomotive and huge oak barrels. Following your visit, you are invited to taste the many varieties. The museum was recently renovated and boasts a traditional Creole village and a conference center for meetings.
For information about the island and its attractions, you can visit the Web site at www.martinique.org or call (212) 838-6887.
Serving Size: Makes 6 Servings