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Traditional ways of cooking food in Grenada

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

In the modern era, the cooking of food is done either on gas stoves or electric stoves. Most homes in Grenada have a gas stove - four or six burner stove. There are a few with electric stoves, often homes of expats or returning Grenadians or foreign workers used to this type of stove living in the USA, UK and Canada. The gas stove replaced traditional ways of cooking food. Our grandparents and foreparents used the coalpot and fireside to cook food. Today, the coaplot and fireside are mostly used for community cooking events. The Dutch oven was once used, but today is extinct.

The Coalpot

The Coalpot uses charcoals or "coals" as its fuel for cooking food. In the early years, the coalpot was used in outside kitchens or in backyards to cook food. The coalpot is made of cast iron, and the inside is filled with charcoals. Charcoals are burnt pieces of wood. Charcoal can be purchased and is often sold by the bag. Today, the coalpot is used to prepare and cook one pot dishes such as Oil down, pelau, rice and peas, soups like manicou waters throughout communities in Grenada. The Saraka/Saraca activity held in La Poterie, River Sallee and Carriacou uses coalpot to prepare a large number of dishes.

The Coalpot is also used to roast corn. Roasting of corn can be seen along the roadside in Grenada.

Copyright - @ahfeelinforsome

Picture of Coalpot

The Fireside

Fireside cooking is the use of wood along with concrete blocks to create a fireside pit. The fireside pit is located outside away from the house. Cooking has to be done in large pots as the heat from the fireside pit is usually intense. Wood is cut from nearby trees and dragged to the cooking location. Three or four concrete blocks form the shape of the firepit and the wood is pushed in between. The wood is lightened using kerosene and matches. The concrete blocks serve as the foundation or base for placing the pot. Fireside cooking is also used to cook one pot dishes.

View video of fireside cooking:

Copyright - One One Cocoa

Dutch ovens

The Dutch oven has its origin in Europe. The Dutch oven is a cast iron pot that can be used to prepare one pot dishes such as soups. The modern version of the Dutch oven is made from ceramics. The Dutch oven is set up outside in which the pot is hung oven a fireside for cooking purposes. The heat from the fireside heats the cast iron pot and cooks the food over a lengthy period, typically a few hours.

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