St Vincent and The Grenadines, or SVG, is a country in the Caribbean, not a music band, like I thought when I first pulled it out of the bag! Situated in the Lesser Antilles island arc, it is made up of St Vincent, the main island, along with the Grenadines, 32 smaller islands stretching south. There are 9 inhabited islands, one of which is Mustique, which has been visited by Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Sir Paul McCartney and Amy Winehouse. Pirates of the Caribbean I, II and III were all filmed on the islands. Natasha Mayers, born in St Vincent, won the Women’s 100m gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The highest point is La Soufriere, an active volcano on St Vincent, which last erupted in 1979. Many of St Vincent’s beaches are black volcanic sand, while the Grenadine beaches are fine white sand. Forest covers 69 per cent of the land area. In 2006 it was voted number 4 in the world on The Happy Planet Index (HPI) which is calculated from perceived well-being, life expectancy and ecological footprint. Homosexuality is illegal in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Much of the food eaten in SVG is grown or sourced locally. Popular dishes include bul jol (roasted breadfruit and saltfish), pumpkin soup, arrowroot cakes and curried goat. I made stuffed sweet potatoes, which we found a little bit too sweet with the filling, unfortunately the sweet potato and sweetcorn overpowered the chicken and bacon.
Serves 3 as a main meal or 6 as a starter
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hr 15 mins
5-6 sweet potatoes
8 rashers of bacon
1 cup of any cooked diced meat
1 cup sweetcorn
1 large onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp margarine
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Scrub potatoes well. Dry and brush them with oil. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour.
Fry the onion with thyme leaves until it is soft and transparent, remove to a bowl.
Fry the bacon in the same pan until it is crisp and add to the onions.
Remove potatoes from oven, cut each in half and scoop out the flesh to a bowl. Mash the flesh.
Add the corn, chicken and margarine to the onion and bacon, add seasoning and mix well.
Put a spoonful of the filling mix into the potato shells, followed by a spoonful of the mashed potato and finally another spoonful of the filling mixture.
Place in the oven for 15 mins and serve hot.