In the Lenten season, Fried Sprat & Bammy are popular food sources that make up Jamaican meals. Steam vegetables in the form of callaloo is a common side. In this blog article, we’ll delve a bit into:
- The cultural roots of these food sources.
- Highlighting the macronutrient contributions of these food sources into the diet of the consumer.
- Sharing portioning tips for ‘healthy weight management’.
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Cultural Roots of Food Sources
Fried Sprat (Spanish)
Fried sprat in cooking approach and preparation for consumption, is rooted to the escovitch style. “Escovitch Fish originates in Spain and dates back to the 16th century when the Spanish introduced it to Jamaica.” Seasoned Skillet Blog (Jamaican Escovitch Fish); Retrieved February 22, 2023
“Bammy or cassava bread was the staple of the Tainos. The cassava was cut into small pieces, and the poisonous juice was then extracted.” Culinary Heritage; Jamaica55.gov.jm; Retrieved February 22, 2023
Steamed Callaoo (West Africa)
“Callaloo is a super-popular Caribbean side dish of West African descent, made from green, leafy veggies (amaranth, taro, xanthosoma), steamed and seasoned with salt and other spices.” U.S. Department of the Interior; Caribbean History & Culture; Retrieved February 22, 2023
Macronutrient Contributions of Sprat, Bammy & Callaloo
Fried Sprat: The dominant macronutrients (digestible) this fish provide to the human diet are protein & fat.
Fried Bammy: The dominant macronutrients provided to the human diet upon consumption are carbohydrates & fat.
Steamed Callaloo: The dominant macronutrient provided is protein. “The protein content is higher in cooked callaloo, but is not a high quality protein. Therefore, callaloo should be added to peas, beans, fish, chicken or meat to improve the protein quality of a meal.” Callaloo: More Than Just Iron; Jamaica Gleaner; Retrieved February 22, 2023
Fried Sprat, Bammy & Steamed Callaloo Portioning Tips for Healthy Weight Management
Although it has it’s drawbacks, the body mass index chart is a great reference point for you to know what is your healthy weight range (in respect to your height & age). Using the feature image of this article as reference, as a dish (fried sprat, bammy & callaloo), this meal is dominated with digestible carbohydrates & fat-with relatively moderate protein as macronutrients. For the person with the desire of losing weight towards his/her weight loss goal, the portioning as highlighted in the image, is opposite of that goal. What you should consider doing, is having the indigestible carb (fiber) callaloo, take up halve of the plate, and have the other half evenly occupied by the bammy & fried sprat.
About The Author
Oshane Bryant: BSc Geology, Geography Minor; ACE CPT since 2012; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Accelerator Graduate-2018 cohort; Licensed KUKIBO Martial Arts & Self Defense, Senior Instructor; OB Fitness Founder & Managing Director.