Ital stew is that book you cannot put down. The flavor excites. You anticipate the climax, and then savor it. You dread the denouement.
Vegetables and ground provisions are colorful characters brought to life in the folds of a good ital stew. Bright, upbeat yams, dutty-tinted sweet potatoes, irate orange pumpkins and simple off-white Irish potatoes conspire to supplant stringy, strenuous cassava- who for me is starboy.
There on the side lurks envious-green Calaloo, sulking, knowing she is only a side character. The whole mix is antagonized by an angry gang of fiery peppers, flagging colors red, yellow and green. Adding even more spice to this intricate plot is scallion and a piece a ginger. And the foil is golden-ripe plantains-sweet and tender. All these characters bubble in an aromatic theme of creamy coconut milk, the essence of Ital stew-the taste so exciting, you dread the impending end.