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Chow - The Pickle of The Caribbean

Updated on December 31, 2011
A bowl of Five-Finger or Star Fruit Chow
A bowl of Five-Finger or Star Fruit Chow | Source

Eryngium foetidum

Mexican Coriander or Chadon Beni
Mexican Coriander or Chadon Beni

First off you might be thinking what is Chow? Well Chow is the Caribbean's way of making a pickle. And let me tell you it is very popular! The unique taste of a good Chow will make you have many a sleepless night yearning for a bowl of your favorite type. You think I am joking? I am dead serious. I have known people to go crazy for this stuff. People who are usually generous become the stingiest people around if they come to have possession of their very own bowl of Chow. People who do not like to eat will become the greediest monsters when their eyes spy a bowl of Chow. I think I have made it clear that Chow can bring out the desperate in you!

There are many types of Chows because Chow can be made with nearly every fruit you can think of. Some of the most well known Chows are the Pomerac (Malay Apple )Chow , the Pommecythere, the Pineapple, the Five -Finger ( Star Fruit ) and of course the Mango (which is basically king of the Chows.

I should add that people make Chow out of any and everything. Plums, Cucumbers, tomatoes, oranges,mandarins, tangerines, and yes even pumpkin!

To make a basic Chow you need salt, black pepper and some lime juice. If you do not have lime juice, then White Vinegar can be used. People usually add some garlic to it as well as some Hot Peppers cut up small and last but not least Chadon Beni also known as Mexican Coriander. It is a herb used in the Caribbean. It is very strong and has a distinct taste.

Add all the ingredients together (choosing your fruit of choice) and then slice the fruit thinly and soak it into the mixture. If you leave your Chow to soak for a few hours or better yet until the next day, it will taste even better because all that lovely goodness will have soaked right into the fruit. (Note when selecting fruit for Chow do not pick fruit that is especially ripe but almost ripe as in a mango. You do not want to select a too juicy mango you want one whose inside has just turned yellow. The same applies for the other fruit but it is most important for the mango. Also do not use a fruit that is too green either.)

And that is Chow! If this sounds like something you would like, slightly sweet and tangy at the same time with a nice sting at the end, then by all means go for it.....One last tip..if you slip up and put too much pepper and your tongue feels like it is on fire, do not go for the water head straight for the milk and the sugar....

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