Dasheen doubles. To many people, it may be an oxymoron. Some may even regard it as an unimaginable food choice.
But to the members of the Delaford Eco-Tourism Association, Tobago, dasheen doubles is the treat the world has been waiting for.
The delicacy will be on display today, at the Blue Food Festival River Lime, Bloody Bay, the precursor to tomorrow’s main event at the Bloody Bay Recreation Ground.
And members of the association are confident the dasheen doubles will do more than simply tantalise the taste buds of doubles lovers. They are also hoping to take first prize in today’s competition.
Vice-president Corey Roberts told Newsday the idea for the dasheen doubles came about just days ago.
“This is our first time entering the competition, and we were thinking about putting something together for Blue Food, and we came up with several ideas,” he said. “We thought about a dasheen punch, but we said that was out already. We thought about a dasheen pie and that was out already. We even thought about dasheen souse.”
Roberts said the group’s secretary, Keino Sammy, then came up with the idea of dasheen doubles, and members immediately fell in love with the concept. “Everyone was so amazed, and we gave it our endorsement. We decided we were going ahead with it.” Roberts said the group quickly sought the expertise of vendor Patsy Swoklila, who has been selling doubles in Scarborough for several years. He said she agreed to prepare samples of the delicacy, which was given out on Thursday to passers-by in the capital.
Roberts said people’s glowing responses to the dasheen doubles were captured on video and posted on social networking sites.
One man said he thoroughly enjoyed it.
“This is the first time that I am tasting it but I like it,” he said. “It is nicer, thicker, holding everything firm and nice. Nothing cannot drip and slip.”
The man said he had initially planned to attend tomorrow’s main festival at the Bloody Bay Recreation Ground, but having tasted the dasheen doubles on Thursday, he decided also to attend today’s river lime.
Roberts willingly shared the recipe. He said the barra is made of a dasheen flour, white flour, saffron powder, baking powder, yeast and water.
“The dasheen doubles is really the healthier choice, because people are trying to move away from the white flour.”
The channa, in keeping with theme, is fused with dasheen bush. “But we are also using sweet sauce, cucumber and pepper to complete the doubles.”
He urged those attending today’s river lime to sample the new delicacy, and said the dasheen doubles will not be a feature of tomorrow’s festival.
Now in its 23rd year, the Tobago Blue Food Festival is perhaps the island’s main culinary event. Highlighting the versatility of the dasheen, one of Tobago’s main staples, it continues to attract tourists from the United States, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean.
Among the enticing delicacies one is likely to find are dasheen black cake, fudge, sponge cake, wine, kurma, ice cream and cookies.