Catholics in Guyana observe a tradition of dinner

Catholics in Guyana observe a tradition of dinner

The period of Lent for Catholics is coming to an end, and traditionally Guyanese eat little on Good Friday. On the table are typical dishes such as vegetable akras, kuak, salted fish and coma, wassai or patava palm juice.

On Good Friday before Easter Sunday, there are always long queues in front of the palm sap producers. The flags, red for wassai, white for coma, and yellow for patawa, are well raised to indicate that refueling is possible.

A red wassai flag at an artisanal refinery in Cayenne

Here we find wassai

© KL

The most forward-thinking customers book or buy these juices in advance. If earlier these nectars were consumed mainly during the fruiting season, now the development of processing activities makes it possible to taste these delicious juices at any time of the year. This famous day is the last before meat and rich dishes are avoided, and these palm juices flourish on the Guyanese tables. They are accompanied by kuak, vegetables, chestnut flavored parepa, salted, smoked or fried fish.

The famous Guyanese culinary specialist Sabrina François-Vincent, nicknamed Ti Molokoi, always dined at the family table with the addition of vegetable accra with giraumon or thaiowe (malanga).

Find HERE his Good Friday accra recipe.

Today she comes up with her own recipes and continues this tradition with pleasure: There was always wasai at home that day, often with kuak and fried or salted fish, shrimp and especially the famous akki. Now I prefer to try wassai juice in the morning on an empty stomach and without sugar. »

Rosange Lhuerre, PR manager of the association “Gastronomie guyanaise” remembers that in his time, during the entire month of Great Lent, we ate Lenten food on Fridays, and especially not meat, but fish.

“We don’t eat pork that day, and I remember that in the morning they didn’t even give us milk. Everything that was from animals, for example, beef or pork, had to be excluded at breakfast … At home, we gave dinner only to children. Adults did not eat to adhere to the rules of fasting and abstinence. We ate after the Way of the Cross…”

Among the dishes Rosange mentions kuak, wassai, salted fish or fried cod, and in the evening there were vegetable acras or parepa. On Saturday, thank God, Rosange Luerre recalls after the ringing of the bells, in the morning it was possible to eat lightly, but without pork, and during the day three meals a day and even fried bananas were allowed. She also remembers that in Cayenne we drank more kumu than the wassai or pinot that the inhabitants of Saint-Georges or Huanari consumed. There was also fatty rice without lard with pumpkin.

Ti Molokoy and Rosange Luer told us how to follow this Good Friday before tasting, this Easter Sunday, the rich “bouillon vara” whose virtues are so praised.