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Rum and Sex: Tobagan recipes for same

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Capn Jimbo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Rum and Sex: Tobagan recipes for same Reply with quote

Historically, rum and its many concoctions have been widely seen and used as medicinals and aphrodisiacs. How bout bush rum soaked spiced chicken gizzards. Better than Oronoco. Mmmmm, can I have another honey?

From The Independent, Jul 1, 2001 by Anthea Milne:

On the tropical island of Tobago, virility is carried effortlessly on the cedar-scented air. The rainforest oozes fertility; on the beach, palm trees stand erect as their coconuts ripen and drop onto the sand, and the juices of the island are fused in the potent rum punch. Middle- aged men profess with pride to having as many "outside" children as those born within wedlock.

So is this a case of natural superiority, or are stronger substances fuelling the local libido on an island where fishing, rum and sex are the main male preoccupations? Charles and Dylan, two rangy fishermen, recommend two tree barks that can be flaked off and chewed. "Boisbande" is more common on neighbouring Trinidad, while "naked boy" originates from the slippery elm on Tobago. But the real fisherman's friend, according to Charles, is pachro water, made by picking sea urchins off the rocks, boiling them up and drinking the broth. Sea moss, shark's fin soup and grated turtle penis also figure, although with growing awareness of the need to protect the rare leatherback turtles that frequent the island, use of the latter is on the wane. Every village on the island, Charles tells us, has its own variations.

Just down the road, in Charlotteville, Jaba sits before a table of fruit and veg as plentiful as his dreads. He and his mate, Marlon, reclining in a hammock suspended from a neighbouring cashew nut tree, are happy to add to the list. Dandy root, a substance like ginger, can be grated on to porridge, and the bitter berries from the susumba shrub served up as a punch are also supposed to reboot your hard drive. Older men, Jaba claims, make all kinds of brews, such as goat's testicle broth, animal feed blended with fruit, and pretty much anything containing young bananas. The worst concoction he has come across is chicken gizzards, spiced, and soaked in bush rum.

In the interests of sexual equality, I tried a few aphrodisiacs for myself. Sea-moss-flavoured ice cream tastes like root beer spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It leaves you with a numb tongue, and a sense of relaxation. Next up is peanut punch. I force myself to finish one of the most revolting drinks I've ever tasted, only to discover that what I have drunk is basically runny peanut butter.

The final experiment is to sample the local bush rum. This illegal brew smells and tastes like lighter fuel with a molasses and liquorice after- kick and only a nip of this results in annihilation rather than stimulation.

So do these love elixirs really work? Jaba attributes the widespread local faith in them to macho tendencies in the local culture. "All the men here," he says, "think they are God's gift to women, and that they can lay every woman they see."

But singer Shadow's calypso lyric blaring out from the beach bar, "HIV don't respect anybody", is a chill reminder that in the Caribbean, a casual sex mentality, coupled with sledgehammer cocktails and a lack of contraception, often form a lethal blend. In Charlotteville, with its mixture of savvy and naivety, Jaba suggests, it is time for old attitudes to change.

Copyright 2001 Independent Newspapers UK Limited
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guinness and Puncheon (overproof) are rumored to help libido. There's at least one song about it:

I once saw comedian Dave Attell live, and he asked the audience to shout out what they were drinking so he could make fun of it. I yelled out Guinness, and he said "Why would you want to associate yourself with bad breath and soccer hooligans?"

My point is, the bad breath aspect would probably be a turnoff, making the whole strategy counterproductive.

When I was at Calypso Fiesta in Trinidad, it was raining really hard, and an older gentleman playfully asked me for my umbrella. He then offered me a shot of scotch, and a mystery soup. For some reason I cautiously accepted the concoction in his cooler, and as I chewed a rubbery piece of meat, he told me it was cow face soup. I politely pretended to eat it, and discreetly spit it back into the cup that the soup was in. "Dat will help yuh with yuh boy!" he exclaimed with a suggestive grin.

Thanks but no thanks I thought to myself.

Fountain of youth, I suppose. At least I didn't get sick!

Some Cubans I met have similar claims about (i think) pig head soup, but mostly related to its ability to help after drinking, not so much about libido as far as I know. The nickname relates to its ability to "bring you back from the dead," so to speak.
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