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Food is an integral part of the culture in the Caribbean and at some point in time, one should experience this richness by paying a visit to the Tropics. However, not everyone has the opportunity to get there so I will take you there through a selection of palatable dishes. I grew up in the Caribbean and was always passionate about good food because as a youngster, I most times wanted a second helping. My mother is definitely the best cook whom I have eaten from. That’s what I always said because the food tasted better the second time around. After migrating to the United States, I had to acquire a new taste. Luckily for me, I was able to find a job in the College campus cafeteria where I worked for four and a half years. While the food on campus tasted well, I was always yearning to eat those dishes that I grew up with. Living off campus gave me an opportunity to cook for myself and to experiment with recipes. If I could not find the authentic ingredients then I would improvise the recipe to finish the dish. One is never too old to get advice from mom on how to cook certain foods so when I got stuck with a certain dish, I would call her and ask her advice. I had many friends on campus from all over the world and what better way to test one's cooking by inviting a couple of friends to dinner. No one asked what the recipe was, they just devoured it so that was my sign that the taste was there. I invite you to dinner and a trip to the Tropics by preparing some of these palatable dishes and acquiring a taste of the Caribbean. Thank you, Mervyn HemLee

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