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Oil Down / Oildown: The National Dish of Grenada

Kirani James of Grenada delivered his country’s first gold in medal in style with what looked like an effortless win in the 400 meter dash. Though we are fans of Caribbean cuisine, tiny Grenada tends to fly under the radar of other larger nation’s cuisines like Trinidad and Jamaica. The national dish of the country is the colorfully-named Oildown or (Oil Down), a fact even corroborated by the government of Grenada. Oildown is a stew made with coconut milk with a variety of salted meat or fish, dumplings,  saffron, dasheen (taro leaves), breadfruit and whatever veggies may suit your fancy. At its core, oildown seems to be a cousin of the Brazilian moqueca, another stew with a coconut milk base.

Oildown in Production by SnarkleMotion

So where does it get its name? According to popular legend, the name of oildown comes from the cooking of the veggies in the coconut milk, where most of the milk gets absorbed, leaving the oil behind. Like any good dish, the best oildown is made by everyone’s grandma or mom, and in a tradition we quite enjoy, it is best enjoyed when made on the beach.  Not to be confined to the borders of Grenada, there are even Trinidadian versions of Oildown.

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