Chowder Craves: Island Flavor

1216652954As a gourmand, foodie, good food-advocate, whatever, I’ve lately been trying to eat as much locally grown food as possible. (It’s especially possible this time of year, as it’s the height of summer and Boston-area farmers’ markets are busting at the seams with fresh greens, ripe berries, and amazingly fragrant herbs.)

But every now and then, a hankering for things sourced from far, far away—San Marzano tomatoes, Gruyere cheese, Kona coffee—tests my limits (and usually succeeds). This week, thanks to a recent Bahamas getaway, I’m craving Caribbean.

Now, I live in a part of town blessed with some great ethnic cuisine. And some of it comes darn close to the island fare I currently crave. There’s a local joint that cooks up peas and rice and fried plantains, and El Oriental de Cuba makes a mean ropa vieja (braised and shredded steak).

But I’ve yet to find an eatery serving non-Latin Caribbean fare—the stuff like West Indian curries, coconut-crusted fish, conch fritters, fruit chutneys, and jerk-spiced meats that flavor my none-too-frequent escapes.

Now, I know Boston’s no New York, at least in terms of representing the world’s cuisines. But we’ve got Turkish, Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Malaysian, for Pete’s sake. So am I missing something? Are there some fantastic spots to find this stuff that I don’t know about, or is it strangely absent from our city?

Sigh. Until I find it, I’ll be over here, munching on this locally grown arugula. It’s tasty, but it’s certainly no pineapple rum cake.

Photo courtesy of The Cove Eleuthera, Gregorytown, Bahamas,