Blood Pudding & Baby Volcanoes

by Marion Robinson / Jan 15, 2011 / 0 comments

Last Christmas was my first major holiday away from Jamaica. Because of that (or rather inspite of it) I wanted it to be special, different and reminiscent of home. So, after weeks of contemplating where to go and what to do, I finally settled on the Nature Isle of Dominica.



I interned twice in Dominica and, sadly, there was little (if any) time to mix business with pleasure. So, this time I wanted to just sit back, relax, wake up late, "shoot the breeze" and enjoy the sites and sounds of the island. On my previous visits I was fortunate to meet a great family,the Lewis', who unofficially became my in-country hosts and made my stay in Dominica a lot more like home. 


But this article isn't about THAT I went back. Rather, it's about the funny, quirky, interesting and sometimes weird things I found while I was there. Check this out:


1)  BLOOD PUDDING: This had to take centre stage at the top of the "weird-things-I-found" list. Blood pudding or blood sausage is a local favourite, made from highly seasoned bread mixed with goat or pig blood and stuffed into goat or pig intestines.



 Blood Pudding (not to be mistaken for anything else) 


From the accounts of the locals, blood pudding is absolutely delicious, but I can't refute or endorse that sentiment since I refused to try it. I don't know, maybe it was the part about the BLOOD, or the part about the INTESTINE that got to me. Either way, I'll take their word for it.




Fully garnished blood pudding


2)  TITIRI ACCRA: On one of my adventures with the Lewis' we went to Layou Beach. While there, I was presented with a napkin of what I thought look like fried seaweed. On closer inspection, I saw that it was actually a number of very miniscule fish that looked squashed together and fried into a clump...AND...I could see their black eyes!!



Maybe it's a good thing that you can't see the eyes 


After that, I just couldn't do it: first, because it was very discomforting for me to be eating food that looked back at me; second, I honestly saw those fish staring at me as if begging me not to eat them, plus the thought of crushing the lifeless bodies of those tiny baby fish in my mouth with just one bite was completely disheartening. 


3) SCOTTS HEAD: Scotts Head is predominantly a fishing village located on the southwest coast of Dominica, in Saint Mark Parish, overlooking Soufrière Bay. What I found most interesting about Scotts Head is that it extends into a small peninsula with a rising headland. The Carib name of the peninsula is Cachacrou, literally meaning a "hat which is being eaten". This is possibly a reference to its location at the convergence of the Caribbean Sea to its north and the Atlantic Ocean to its south. From this photo that I took on my first visit, the Atlantic Ocean is on the left and the Caribbean Sea is on the right. The thought of standing on a single strip of land between two major bodies of water is simply majestic.




Scotts Head peninsula - Atlantic Ocean to the left, Caribbean Sea to the right


4) WOTTEN WAVEN:  Wotten Waven is a village located in Dominica's Roseau Valley, where I got my first sight and smell of the many sulphuric springs that Dominica is famous for. While there has been no historic volcanic eruption on the island, there are dozens of sulphur springs and bubbling pots, steaming with hot sulphuric water that carries on the wind and catches your nose from miles away.



If you can tolerate the odour long enough, standing and watching these mini-springs erupt - which I'm told can be as hot as 270 degrees Fahrenheit - is quite fascinating.   



Spewing very hot sulphuric water


5) SOUFRIERE BAY: While in the Dominica, I lived in Soufriere, a small coastal village that neighbours Scotts Head with a heavenly view of the Caribbean Sea. My next "find" was a 'hot spot' in the sea, just in front of the Soufriere Church. Where the sea meets the shore, there is a semi-circular area approximately 5 feet wide on each side that is enticingly warm, while outside of that area is cold. All anyone would need is a serving of bubbles to have the ultimate jacuzzi experience.



 The warm area is right in the vicinity of that large rock in the sea


But this isn't due to any interferences by modern man; rather it's simply another of nature's many miracles, and the little-big things that make Caribean living interesting, unique and awe-inspiring.


'Til Next Time


Marion Robinson,
International Internship Editor, Wandering Educators