Should Barbados’ Culinary Treasures be Registered? What amounts to Copyright Infringement in the wrong hands…

This is Curry, after cutting Scotch Bonnet Peppers, she says wash your hands carefully - now most Bajans I know use dishwashing gloves and a knife and fork to dice the beasties, even further - we do not put aside the seeds for the sauce as that is where most of the zing is - she also scraped the meat off the skin of the pepper essentially declawing the poor thing, now THAT is Hotsauce??

The steel pan is viewed by many as the last invention of the 20th Century, all would agree that Trinidad is its place of origin yet the entire Caribbean embraces it as a staple of culture within our small archipelago. However, there are some Americans who feel since they made certain modifications on the instrument, they can not only patent those changes but claim the entire device as theirs? I hope it’s being debated…

Worse yet, there are many Americans who feel since they are in eugenics & animal husbandry and developed a strain of ruminants which involve Black Belly Sheep they can evolve a creature with horns (the indigenous sheep do not have such equipment) and now call it the Barbados Black Belly Sheep?

Has the time come for not just Barbados or Trinidad to copyright cultural icons, but the entire Caribbean? If the steel pan or Black Belly Sheep elude our identity via alteration, then can Barbra Streisand be able to claim Bob Marley’s “Guava Jelly” or Buster Poindexter be allowed to usurp Arrow’s “Hot Hot Hot“; what about Eric Clapton‘s sole Number 1 hit being “I Shot The Sheriff” which was another Marley blockbuster – simply on the basis they issued different versions of hit tunes from this part of the world??

I am posing these questions as I was shocked and appalled when I learned of major renovations to Bajan bastions of Culinaria via this “Watcha Cookin” program from a Christina Curry, whose claim to fame is nowhere to be found on IMDb, but a sneer where she wrinkles her whole face or pushing her boobs at the camera…

Here she is putting celery in Bajan Stewed Beef - was she taught so-called Bajan culinary arts by a 4th generation descendant? It would explain why it seems so f***ed up!

It certainly is not for the recipes which she purports to be Bajan, look at what she does for Hot Sauce?

This programme is done by a production company which does not exist, look at the end of the video - when you try to access the site, the only way you can find it is as a cached page, which is in fact a holding page when a website is not ready or under construction difficulties...

Now since when any Bajan would use Oregano for Peppersauce? You haven’t seen anything yet – look how she mangles Beef Stew (every culture in the world has its own beef stew, but what Irish do as compared to Bajans or Jamaicans or Hindu or Maasai, etc. is as different as peoples across the planet) which she says is how Barbados prepares it?

That is the wrong colour stew for us, we use more cassareep or make our own browning by burning brown sugar! Barbadians use Olive Oil to brown the beef stew? When?? Sometimes we marinate beef cubes but in pure pepper? The worst insult is Cou Cou, now I may be an advocate of Microwave Cou Cou but that is a Bajan modification of Bajan culture, this is NOT what I know Cou Cou to be, she don’t even spell it right…

What has me concerned is that some poor joker is gonna watch this and feel this is what Barbados does for cooking? Is there no legal recourse?

4 Responses

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  1. what a Disgrace to Barbados and an insult to our National Dish

  2. What utter madness! She needs to desist from associating Barbados with these crazy dishes. If she wasn’t mentioning Barbados it would be hilarious.

  3. what makes this even more insulting is the fact that she *pause* —— DEEP FRIES—- WDR— I’m sorry but that is not cou-cou!

  4. The comparison with the Bob Marley songs may not be entirely appropriate. In both cases – I shot the Sherriff and Guava Jelly – there is not question that Marley is the author and unless he sold all rights to the songs he (his estate) still holds copyright over them. For the singers (Clapton and Streisand) they would be expected to have associated rights by virtue of the fact that they were the recording artists. The commercial arrangement made between the author and the singers would have spelt out how future earnings from the recordings are to be shared. The legal position surrounding copyright for music (as well as writings and so on) seems to be well settled. Clearly, this is not the case when it comes to culinary creations, particularly those that have arisen from the folk tradtion. There is a category of intellectual property called “geographical indications” which seeks to deal with some of this but it is a murky area. The clearest cases are in the area of wines and spirits where the producers of Champaign, Cognac and some other beverages have been able to claim exclusive rights to the names. It means, for example, that although you may be able to produce a product in California that is for all intents in purposes champaign, you cannot market it under that name. In the Caribbean, we haven’t really made much progress in this area but, as the article suggests, we should be looking at how to preserve the integrity of our cou cou and similar culinary creations.


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