In May 2021 the 16-acre Harmony Beach Park was opened to public in Montego Bay Jamaica. It was built at a cost of 1.3 billion dollars. It is a flagship project by the Urban Development Corporation. It was opened by the Prime Minister, Most Hon. Andrew Holness. Harmony Beach Park is located along Howard Cooke Boulevard and entry is free for all. I visited the park in July, the wide-open green space, the shady trees, the cool breeze, the clear blue waters and the clean beach was very, very beautiful.
There is a trail built for anyone who would like to jog in the park and this jogging trail is made of special recycled rubber. The beach at the park is a big plus. The early morning view and sun sets are great.
There are good rest rooms also and locker facility for visitors to store their belongings. The best thing is that there are enough of security personnel and I know am safe. No vendors are allowed into the park. I saw some new shops also constructed but they are not yet let out. I guess soon the shops will also open.
There is a special play area for children and a basketball court also. I have been to the park a few times to take either an early morning walk or an evening walk and it was very relaxing. The Park is well lit in the evening and during the day there are lots of trees that provide shade from the heat. Due to the pandemic, I could not visit the park as often as I would like to.
In the last week of February, my husband and I were driving in the streets of Ironshore. Ironshore is an upscale community in the outskirts of Montego Bay, Jamaica. There are some beautiful houses in this neighbourhood. Anyway! As we drove towards the A1 highway, my husband suddenly exclaimed, “Seema chintha gubbalu!”. I had no clue what he was referring to.
He stopped the car by the sidewalk and asked if I saw them on the tree nearby. I explained to him that I am hearing that word for the first time. He pointed to a tall tree in a piece of wasteland by the road. Before I could get a good glimpse of the tree, he got out of the car and walked towards the tree.
He picked a delicate, pink and white pod that was curled up and appeared to have burst open. He showed it to me and said that these trees were commonly found in and around his village in India. He ate them a lot as a child.
The scientific name of this fruit is Pithecellobium dulce. I did a little research to know that these trees a commonly found in Asia, Central America, Mexico and South America. It is called by different names in different regions. The bark, fruit, seeds of this tree are used to treat various ailmentsKaushik V. Kulkarni and Varsha R. Jamakhandi from the College of Pharmacy in India have explained a few interesting facts about the tree. The uses of Pithecellobium dulce are described in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. It can be accessed at this website:
The pods of Seema Chintha burst open on the tree when they become ripe and ready for eating. They taste sweet when ripe yet have a mild sour taste at the same time. The best way to describe the flavour is like chewing on fresh rose petals that were sweet. After eating the first one, I couldn’t stop. I ate them all, one after another.
After picking a bunch of pods from the tree, we separated the delicate white fruit from the pod, removed the black seeds and washed them thoroughly before devouring them. I couldn’t help notice the delicate white flowers hanging down. They were so beautiful and feathery that I decided not to touch them. Bees and wasps were hovering around too. For now, I am going to leave you with this last picture of this Seema Chintakaya. For my husband, this was a wonderful memory brought back from his childhood.
These fruits commonly grow in South America and Caribbean countries. They are called Guineps in Jamaica, and elsewhere they are known as quenepas, Spanish lime, honeyberry etc., in different countries.
Guineps are seasonal fruits. When they are in season, you can find them sold on street sides by vendors. They are very inexpensive and sold in bunches.
The fruit looks like a small size green lime. Gently bite the fruit and crack open the thin rind, and you will find fresh fruit inside.
Be careful not to bite deep into the fruit as the outer fleshy part is not very thick. Just beneath the sweet and tangy flesh is the hard-shell seed. Suck the sweet juicy pulp and discard the seed.
Guineps grow on tall trees that grow to a height of about 80 ft. The flesh of the fruit is nutritious; even the seed is said to be beneficial. The ancient people of the Caribbean region roasted these seeds and consumed the pith. It is said to be similar to a cashew nut.
The pulp of the Guineps is used to make juices, jams and sauce for desserts.
When I came to Jamaica two decades ago, the Otaheite apple was one of the exotic fruits that I came across. But ever since I tasted them, I have been in love with this delicious fruit.
Yesterday my husband brought a dozen of these apples. Otaheite apples are soft and juicy like a plum. There is a small seed inside it that can be pulled out easily. The white flesh inside the fruit is sweet and has a tangy taste. One bite of this fruit fills up your mouth with the sweet juice, as the red colour from the skin slowly seeps into the delicate white fibrous flesh. The darker the colour of the skin, the sweeter is the fruit.
It is also known as the Jamaican apple, and it grows on tall trees that generally bear a lot of fruits. It is a seasonal fruit. The previous house where I lived had a lot of space in the yard. So, I planted a seed of this Otaheite Apple, and it grew to approximately three feet tall. When I moved from that house, I left the tree there. My current residence has no space for trees.
Just like any other fruit, these apples are rich in vitamins and minerals. They work wonders for our body and prevent or cure a variety of ailments. The best part is that they taste great and are surprisingly inexpensive.
I enjoy eating them raw however, they are used to make jams and juices. It can be stewed with brown sugar and ginger to make jam. You could even run it in the blender with water, sugar and a tiny bit of ginger to make an excellent juice.
All this talk about Otaheite apples has worked up my appetite. Bye for now, see you all on my next blog.
Hello everyone! How are you all doing? Since my childhood, I loved food and enjoyed eating different kinds of food. I experimented with food and recipes in the kitchen but, that story is for a different day. Last week, I went to this place called ‘Chill Out Hut’. Here I am to talk about my experience.
Chill Out Hut is located on the A1 highway at Long Bay, Jamaica. It is open from 10 am to 11pm. On the menu, they have pizzas, burgers, fries, meats etc. We ordered fries with cheese and bacon, Parmesan chicken with rice and peas. The food was delicious. Since the food is not pre-cooked, it took them some time to prepare our dishes. There was a bit of waiting time after the order was placed. But the place was so beautiful that we did not mind waiting.
Chill Out Hut hosted many events like Calypso nights, Reggae nights, Karaoke nights, and even mud-wrestling. Since I visited the place at lunchtime, all we experienced was good music playing on the speakers.
The weather was pleasant and not as hot as it mostly is. The sky was overcast though there was no rain. The soft breeze made for enjoyable view and weather. The meal was delightful, and I was relaxed. Later, we took a little walk around the place to click a few snaps. I wanted to remember the place and share my memories.
This was where we were seated and here is the view from my seat:
This was another seating area a little away from ours. The view from there must have been great too. Unfortunately, I did not go up there. I walked around and took snaps in every direction.
And finally, I will leave you with the best picture (in my opinion). The sky was like a painting and the silky, deep blue waves dancing under it. You have to come here at least once to experience it.
Last week we went to Falmouth, Jamaica. It wasn’t a pleasure trip, we had some work to do (my husband and me). We wanted to get over with the work by 11:30 am, however it stretched on until 2:30 in the afternoon. I was starving by then, and barely had any energy to even sit up straight. We decided to have a quick bite on the way home. I was ready to eat anything, so my husband took me to Father Bull restaurant. What a strange name for a restaurant, I thought. Anyway, all that matters is the food. It is located at Greenwood on the main road.
They are located right on the waterfront. Literally, you can walk up to the backdoor and find yourself looking at the waves crashing on to the rocks. I fell in love with the place. The cool sea breeze was heavenly. I could easily fall asleep in my chair, had it not been for the fact that I was famished. It was a great place to unwind and sit down with some hot Jamaican style pumpkin soup and meditate on the happy things in life.
This place is not a fine dining restaurant; it is a casual, informal place. The food was served in a Styrofoam container. That was one down-side; I hope they change to something healthier. The ambience is very relaxed and casual.
You can see the Caribbean Sea from every window. It is a sight for sore eyes.
The food was hot and delicious. We ordered Curry chicken. My husband used to get food home from this place several times in the past. I tried Curry Goat, Pumpkin soup and Manish water. All of them tasted great.
It was a very hot day and the cold water was a welcome relief. But if you like to try some of their alcohols, they have a tie-up with Appleton Rum. You can try some at the bar. I forgot to mention that the place is not exactly quiet. There is music playing all the time.
I wish I could have some more right now. Even looking at these pictures is making my mouth water. Their cuisine is authentic Jamaican and they have dishes like oxtail, jerk chicken etc. In fact, you can smell the jerk chicken in the air the moment you enter the premises and it’s hard to resist.
I sat by the window and clicked a few pictures. I notice that there were a lot of fishing boats on the other side.
What more can I say, it’s a good place to eat. Take a local Jamaican with you and pay in Jamaican dollars for it to work out cheaper. That way, you can avoid the tourist prices ;-). I leave you with some more pictures to enjoy.
View of the highway road.
You can see the phone charger on the black table. While you charge up, your phone can get charged too.
View from the window by my table.
The place is very well maintained and every window has a wonderful view. Even though it was 2:30 in the afternoon and very hot outside, it was pleasant and cool inside. They don’t need fans with the breeze they have.
Take one step out of the restaurant and you will be swimming with the fish in the sea. Hahaha!
I did not go out the back door. I just stuck my hand out of the window and clicked this one. There seems to be a little space to walk but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not trying to scare you or anything. Just saying that I am over cautious.
That’s it, guys. Mi see yuh likkle more den (Jamaican Patois for – I’ll see you later then. I am trying to learn the language).