On any Friday afternoon, outside any large supermarkets, small parlours or residents, which is close to the road across Trinidad and Tobago, but mostly in Tobago, you will find ladies and young women selling food labelled out of a large white plastic buckets into plastic cups. The main item on the menu is “Souse”, a delicacy dating back to the times of slavery.
The Recipe – Souse
Main Ingredients – Conchs, pig foot or chicken feet or cow skin.
Souse ingredients – Limes, Flavour peppers, cucumbers, salt, scotch bonnet pepper (1), chives (spring onions)
Any meat being used are chopped into bite sized pieces, washed in lime juice and left to stand for 5 minutes in the lime juice. They are boiled in salty water until tender….. Hours if you are dealing with the cow skin and as for the conch; it is best pounded before cooking to tenderize it!
Meanwhile, wash, peel and slice the cucumbers, clean and chop the chives and de-seed and chop the flavour pepper. Mix these and add lime juice, hot pepper (whole if want flavour and chopped if you want tears!) and salt. The latter should be added sparingly at first as the cucumbers tend to absorb it. Keep adding until he desired taste has been reached. To the cool meat, add the lime juice/cucumber/chive mix. Keep in fridge or cool place until needed.
Just before serving add a little water if you want a liquidly souse; if you want to keep it fairly dry and relish the sucking of the meats to get the flavour, leave out the water.