Cornmeal makes a great Jamaican pudding
Years ago, in the district where I now live and teach there was this special lady who was deaf and very poor. Somehow she was respected by everyone, the reason, she could make the best cornmeal pudding that had you licking all your ten fingers
She used to walk through the district daily and sell her cornmeal pudding. No one seem to know the secret and it seem all were afraid to ask. I believed they feared she would not tell in case she lost many of her customers, but was told she would not tell anyone.
Each and every Sunday she would be so busy making cornmeal pudding as many individual waited with eagerness for it to serve as dessert. One day I decided to ask her,I do not know if it was because she was getting old, if she had a special liking for me, or she knew I would understand her. She said to me when I asked for the recipe “nuff water, nuff water” this is the Jamaican dialect, but to me she meant that I should add a lot of water. I did as she said and Bingo I got it. She had left her most prized secret with me a stranger to the district. In just two words she gave me the recipe.
Her puddings were so mild with a firm base of about two inches and half to three quarter inch of a soft jelly like topping. Very few individuals to this day can get it right. Some people call it cornmeal pone. The best ones are baked not in an oven in a pudding placed over live coals with a piece of zinc with live coals placed on top.
Cornmeal is a staple that falls in the category of cereal used commonly to make porridge and dumplings. The starch has been removed during milling and sold as cornstarch used in many cooked desserts and ice-cream and for thickening sauces. Years gone by cornmeal was seen as poor people’s food and was not served on the elite’s table. Because of this poor people have come up with dishes such turn cornmeal, Blue Draws, cornmeal pudding while the more elite used it for cornmeal muffins.
Jamaican cornmeal puddings are made from coconut milk, cornmeal, sugar, spices and waters. When one eats a meal of cornmeal pudding he can rest assure that he will be filled for hours, Because of this unique quality it was regarded as the poor man’s food, but now it falls in the category of one of Jamaica’s traditional dishes.
This pudding contains nutrients such as protein which comes both the coconut milk and that of the cornmeal. The sugar gives added energy and the spice spikes the blood a source of vitamin B and A. To be able to make this Jamaican cornmeal pudding the way how Miss Vira made it is the wish of every Jamaican woman.