Thursday, January 05, 2006

perhaps it should be called a "rumpunchymoon"

Mr. Tart and I had a glorious time on our Carribean honeymoon just before Christmas. We spent just about every day completely blissed out hopping from pool to ocean to hot tub, taking advantage of the swim-up bars ("It's 10:oo am--time for a mimosa!" paddle paddle paddle), and reading copious numbers of books and magazines, both in and out of the water. And every time we turned around, someone said hello (or "hey mon") and offered us rum punch. The resort was all-inclusive, so we could eat and drink all we liked without having to juggle foreign currency (and figure out how to carry coins in a bathing suit).

Once I ordered hot tea at a swim-up bar--and they had some!

We had access to two other affiliated resorts on the island, which gave us a choice of over a dozen restaurants. Generally the food was either quite good (especially the seafood, natch) or mediocre. The quality wasn't quite up to what you'd expect from a fancy restaurant in the States--for example, every plate was garnished the same, whether it was steak or fish, the creme brulee crust was soft instead of crisp, the French restaurants didn't serve kir (our favorite extremely French aperitif), the "shrimp bisque" tasted like canned tomato soup, a shrimp pasta dish boasted a pile of spaghetti that dwarfed the few shrimp, the high school cafeteria-worthy pizza sat limp and thick under a heat lamp all day at the snack bar, and the vegetarian options were shamefully pathetic (one entree choice per restaurant, and one of them was a stuffed baked potato). Our travel agent had also enticed us with the fact that we could have lobster at every meal if we wanted to--alas, none of the restaurants even hinted at lobster.

Ah, but when it was good--and served thirty feet from the gently rolling sea--it was good and memorable. Chicken stuffed with brie in a mushroom sauce. Mussels topped with tropical fruit salsa. Seafood curry crepes. Red snapper. Mahi mahi. Crab cakes. A fantastic spring roll. A tiramisu as good as anything I ever had in Italy. Plus, the breakfast buffet delighted me: smoked salmon, sliced starfruit, passionfruit (which looks very nasty up close but tastes tart and vivacious), pineapple crepes. Many of the simple lunch options were yummy, too, like a salad of baby corn and cucumber, or ratatouille served in a grilled green pepper. Throw in a tall glass of starfruit juice and I was content.

This is passionfruit. Told you it looks gross! We took to calling it "booger fruit."

And we expanded our drink repertoire after seeing one of the swim-up bar menus that boasted concoctions like the "Fuzzy Pirate" and the "Dirty Monkey." I became partial to a drink called the "Sandals Mama" with lime juice and amaretto and I don't know what all else, and Mr. Tart, who is almost exclusively an Italian red wine drinker, suprised me by ordering a "Passion" three afternoons in a row. I asked the bartender what was in it so I could make it back home, and while I recognized some of the ingredients, I didn't know what the one called "Seventh Heaven" was. Not until we took a "adventure" cruise--read "booze cruise" (more rum punch! at 8:30 am! on a boat! hello seasickness!)--to the south end of the island and toured the botanic gardens, that is: turns out it's a liqueur made from a local plant called "Seventh Heaven" and reputed to be an aphrodisiac! A good one to indulge in on one's honeymoon, I suppose. No wonder the mixed drink is called "Passion."

Here are a few other food-related pictures from our trip:

Mussels, shrimp, and tuna on the grill at the Japanese restaurant where our chef cooked at our table.

At the botanic garden: nutmeg! The inner kernel of nutmeg is inside this red lacy covering, which is dried, crumbled, and sold as mace, a different spice.

A very happy Mr. Tart digs into a chocolate crepe.

Beware! Thanks to scotch bonnet peppers, this cheerful orange sauce is fiery!
Mmmmm. I'm ready to go back already!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're married?!??

10:32 AM  
Blogger lis said...

oh, I love passion fruit. in peru, I ate as many as I could find. and yes, a bit like bugers in texture

5:53 PM  
Blogger lis said...

uh, I mean boogers.

5:55 PM  
Blogger tara said...

Did you have any conch fritters while you were there? They were all over the place in the Bahamas. The one I had was OK, but the best thing I ate there, hands down, was jerk chicken from an outdoor stand in Freeport -- the part of the town where people live, not the tourist part. This was at the end of a long day spent largely at a Bahamian emergency clinic after a little moped mishap. Don't ever rent one of those things. Long story :)

6:16 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Yes, we did! The fritters were tasty (although once battered and fried they reminded me of mystery shellfish), but the jerk chicken at a different restaurant was dried out. I found a better recipe that I can make at home!

10:33 AM  

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