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Get to Know Bites of Nassau Food Tour Guide Alex

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At Tru Bahamian Food Tours, we think that one of the reasons our Bites of Nassau Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tours are so unique is because of the incredibly interesting personalities charged with leading our groups each day. In this edition, we’re featuring another of our tour guide extraordinaires- so if you haven’t been introduced already…meet Alex!

Tru Bahamian Food Tours (TBFT): Tell us how you first became interested in food and cuisine.

Alex: The bases for my love of food and cuisine started with my mother. I am fortunate to have a mom who has always challenged my relationship with food. She strongly believes in trying everything once and, if you don’t like something, trying it at least once every three years. With a motto like that there is really no limit on what we, as a family, are willing to try and my mother took full advantage of that constantly introducing us to new foods, flavors and cuisines. And it is this type of approach that I continue to have towards food.

TBFT: What is it specifically that makes Bahamian Food unique in your opinion?

Alex: There are a number of things that make Bahamian Food unique that I can talk about in detail. But if I had to choose one thing, it would be how the food reflects the unique social and economic history of the Bahamas. And I’m not just talking about how Bahamians have a preference for seafood because it was, at times, the only source of affordable protein. Our cuisine reflects a history of the migration of the American Loyalist from the southern United States, colonization by the British, integration of other Caribbean countries, hints of African culture from enslaved persons and ongoing limited agricultural success. This unique history is reflected in the cole slaw, baked macaroni and potato salad served with dinner, Bahamians love tea served with ‘biscuits’ and the popularity of jerk chicken, just to name a few. No other country has a history like the Bahamas and that is beautifully displayed in our food.

TBFT: Word on the street is that you’re quite a baker yourself. Can you tell us your favorite treat to prepare and maybe (if we’re lucky) share a recipe with us for how to recreate it at home?

Alex: One dish that is particularly popular with my dad’s family is coconut roll. Its essentially bread dough rolled out, a layer of caramelized coconut is added and then it is rolled (like a cinnamon roll). The ends are folded in and it’s baked like a loaf. The end result is a loaf of buttery, soft bread and when you cut into it there is a beautiful spiral of coconut. Unfortunately the recipe is a family secret.

TBFT: Why did you decide to become a food tour guide?

Alex: I have always had an interest in my country and in the past few years I have fallen in love with the history, culture, geography and society of the Bahamas. Being a tour guide allows me to share not only my love of my country but also food with everyone that comes on the tour.

TBFT: What do you love most about leading food tours?

Alex: It is never boring. I enjoying meeting new and interesting people. This job allows me to have a new experience with different people every time I lead a tour and that is what makes leading tours so fascinating.

TBFT: What keeps you busy when you’re not leading a Bites of Nassau Tour?

Alex: Currently, I am a college student studying law. Other than that, I love reading classic novels, writing short stories and baking.

TBFT: You grew up in East End, Grand Bahama. What brought you to Nassau originally?

Alex: I came to Nassau about six years ago to attend The College Of The Bahamas. Last May, I received my first degree, BA in English, and I am now working towards my law degree.

TBFT: If you could take a food tour in a place other than Nassau, where would it be and why?

Alex: I have to say Italy because it has so much history and culture there that I would like to explore through their cuisine. And I love Italian food.

TBFT: One of the cool things about the Bahamas is the fact that each island is so different from the next, and that goes for food specialties and traditions too. When you head back home to Grand Bahama- what are some of the foods (and/or drinks) that you can’t get in Nassau?

Alex: The one thing I haven’t come across yet is fried bread…which is simply fried bread dough (rolled thin) and it tastes amazing… especially with fried fish and my mother’s mint “switcha” (Bahamian version of limeade). I have yet to come across this anywhere in Nassau.