Foodie: Simple Recipes from Island Cultures

When you finally move out of that dorm and into your first apartment, the excitement is intangible. An “apartment warming” party should already be in the works. Instead of the usual foods served at these functions, why not spice it up and try something new? You could host a “Taste of the Islands” themed house warming party to satisfy your exotic cravings and surprise your guests. If this sounds like something you’d like, some cultures that could be featured include Hawaiian, Haitian, Cuban and Filipino. Here are a few sample dishes that you could serve.

Hawaiian Mango Salsa

2 cups chopped fresh mango
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 hot chili pepper, seeded and minced
Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, and mix well.

Haitian Style Meatballs


4 slices white bread
1 cup milk
1 lb. fresh lean ground beef
2 slices smoked ham or bacon, minced
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Fat/grease, heated to 365 degrees F (for frying)

1. Soak the bread in milk for five minutes, then mash and mix with ground beef, minced ham, salt, pepper, garlic and tomato paste.

2. Roll it into walnut-sized balls, coat it with flour and then cover it with cheese.

3. Fry it in heated fat until it turns golden brown.

4. Drain it onto absorbent paper, and serve it hot with tomato sauce as a dip.

Cuban Passion Daiquiri

2 tbsp. rum (1 oz.)
4 tsp. vanilla liqueur (2/3 oz.)
1 1/2 oz. passion-fruit juice
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. simple syrup (1/3 oz. - dissolve one part sugar in one part boiling water and cool)

Place all ingredients into a blender. Add a handful of ice cubes, and blend until it becomes smoothie-like.

Mamon (Filipino Sponge Cake)


1 cup cake flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. cream of tartar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl, and set it aside.

3. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until it becomes meringue-like, but not stiff.

4. Gradually add sugar while beating, and then add vanilla and vegetable oil.

5. Add egg yolks one at a time and continue beating.

6. Add cake flour and baking powder and continue mixing.

7. Line muffin pans with paper cups, and pour mixture until it’s about 2/3 full.

8. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until it becomes a golden-brown color. It is finished when the toothpick comes out clean.

By: Aspen Evans | Images: 1, 2, 3, 4

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