Reflection Post: Caribana, Duck Curry, and Familia


Caribana weekend in Toronto means a lot of crazy things – fete’ing, dancing, dressing in your carnival best – but, often not counted in the equation is the wealth of knowledge and culture it brings when generations come together to celebrate.

This is a shorter post – mainly showing off the awesome meal I had this past long weekend. Duck curry is probably the most contentious dish, in how it is made and pronounced, the latter being an age old battle I do not want to get into (duck curry vs. curry duck). Each West Indian family has their own key, an array of spices and liquid mixes, to unlock the best duck curry recipe.

This post isn’t about sharing the ultimate duck curry recipe (my mom would kill me if I shared our family’s recipe). Rather, I wanted to highlight the other important aspect of Caribana that goes beyond the stereotypical image of getting drunk and partying. Caribana is a time when families come together to learn and share Caribbean culture, passing on knowledge from one generation to the next. For me, the knowledge of food was the most important, and Caribana meant that I would be eating the best because our family would come together to enjoy the long summer weekend. This weekend I had my grandmother, aunt, and mother all come together to make lip-smacking duck curry. It’s a rare treat to have all three cooks in the same kitchen together.

I guess I was too caught up in the chopping, grinding, and sizzling to take pictures of the process. It’s just a great feeling to live in the moment when your hot-headed West Indian family stops their bickering to create the best duck curry a girl can ask for.




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