Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Safron’s Caribbean Delight

As the weather turns colder and skies grow darker, warm and spicy food is an intuitive escape. Safron’s Caribbean Delight, housed in a vivid yellow building on Alberta Avenue, should be on your winter travel itinerary for a Caribbean culinary voyage.

Safron’s menu includes a host of tropical favourites, including jerk chicken and oxtail stew. Jerk chicken takes its name from a Jamaican dry spice rub known colloquially as “jerk.” Multiple blends exist, but most include a potent combination of hot peppers, allspice, cinnamon and garlic. Safron’s version jolts the tastebuds awake with a bracing blast of heat and finishes with a smooth warmth of demure spices. The chicken itself, a whole leg and thigh, is tender and rests atop of beans and rice. A side of coleslaw adds cool counterpoint to the hot stars of this dish.

Oxtail stew features whole slices of oxtail, bone and all, with aforementioned rice, beans and coleslaw. One may nibble the moist and deeply flavoured meat off the cylindrical bones, which impart impressive nuance to the interstitial rice. It’s a bit of work to eat it but the rewards far outweigh the effort.

If you’re in a hurry, grab a tropical fruit drink and a flaky Jamaican beef patty for the road. You’ll all but forget the cold and dark of your Capital Region surroundings.

-LS Vors

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