La’Maoli

Instagram Post 5/30/2019

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Over the next few days, I’ll show you some pix from the over-the-top feast that was the 2019 World’s Fare a couple of weeks ago in Flushing.

Cuisine from Antigua and Barbuda doesn’t get enough love around these parts, and La’Maoli represented the Caribbean island nation swimmingly. You’re looking at sunbathed ducana and saltfish, and of everything I tasted that day, this brought the biggest smile to my face.

Ducana, a sweet Antiguan specialty, lies somewhere along the dumpling<–>pone continuum and is made from grated sweet potato, coconut, sugar and spice, coconut milk and sometimes raisins; it’s wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled until firm (and yes, I took a bite out of one so you see inside). Saltfish is dried salted cod, cooked with onion and tomato (I’ve seen this called “buljol”) and can often be found keeping company with ducana. I neglected to ask about the greens, but I suspect it was “chop-up”, another local dish, consisting of okra, eggplant, and spinach. Each item complemented the others perfectly and all went far beyond the definition of delicious.

Not to take anything away from the other terrific vendors there (more photos to come tomorrow) but La’Maoli’s food was unsurpassed. They’re caterers and they pop up at events from time to time, so follow them on Instagram @lamaoli_ to find where they’ll be – and I bet you’ll find that big smile there too.
 
 

The World’s Fare – Ducana

Instagram Post 5/1/2018

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If you haven’t been living under a rock (or on a punitively strict diet), you know that The World’s Fare in Queens this past weekend may well have been the most over-the-top food festival New York has ever seen. Boasting diverse foods from over 100 cultures, there were exemplary versions of everybody’s international favorites of course, but it was gratifying to see less familiar dishes making an appearance as well.
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The folks from Bacchanal Sauce, in addition to providing their bottled pepper sauce, came through with an ambitious menu that included Caribbean Fish Cakes, Escovitch Fish Tacos, Jerk Crab Fries and Ducana. Ducana, a sweet Antiguan specialty, lies somewhere along the dumpling–pone continuum and is made from grated sweet potato, coconut, raisins, sugar and spice, and coconut milk wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled until firm. Their version was served with a traditional hit of buljol (chopped salt cod with tomatoes and spices) and was absolutely delicious. Included was a side of Jerk Crab Fries, a reward for patiently awaiting the arrival of my ducana!

Second photo shows a deconstructed/reconstructed view.