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My Scholarship entry - Understanding a Culture through Food

WORLDWIDE | Monday, 16 April 2012 | Views [176] | Scholarship Entry

The lobster takes up almost all of the plate, its deliciously cooked flesh tempting me to dive right in and consume it as fast as possible. But this is a moment to savour.
A bottle of beer sits next to the plate, condensation dripping down the glass, reminding me that it’s just been pulled from ice and is wonderfully refreshing. The sound of laughter emanates from under the wooden porch where the tables are set. Lit up by fairy lights and lamps that surround the flags collected from travellers who have taken it on faith that if they follow the right compass direction they will get here. To this small island that can’t be seen from any other of the volcanic islands that are really not far away.
This tropical paradise is Anegada. We left Tortola earlier this morning to sail across to the most northern of the British Virgin Islands. There was a point when we started to wonder if we were just heading straight out to sea. No island on the horizon, no hint that somewhere up ahead was the freshest lobster we would ever taste and the best beach in the BVI’s, just as we had been promised.
And then on the horizon something appeared, but not an island. The tiny black smudges start to reveal themselves to be palm trees as we get closer. Palm trees that are literally just growing out of the sea because however hard we look there is still no land. Suddenly we’re on top of the island. Perfectly flat and stretching out before us with just the palms to raise its height. And the beach is there of course, a jerky ride away in battered old Land Rover.
And then there’s the lobster. It had to be ordered by 4pm. It’s then the fishermen went out in the boats to bring back shellfish that just a few hours before were skimming across the bottom of the sea as we sailed over the top. Lobster this fresh and this good doesn’t need lots of preparation; large metal drums cut in half make barbecues and the halved lobsters are cooked out in the open air. Food this good doesn’t need anything else.

Tags: travel writing scholarship 2012

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