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Showing posts from June, 2020

Cooking with Rum

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Last week I wrote about rum as a drink, and its difficult history. Rum also makes a delicious contribution as an ingredient in your food, too. Whether in sweet or savoury dishes, rum brings the richness of the molasses it is made from. Being a sugar product, it lifts almost any dessert to something special. Because it is often unsweetened, though, it can be used to give depth of flavour to many meat and vegetable dishes. Let's have a look at a few examples.
As a marinade Rum makes a great carrier for sweet and spicy flavours and will get them deep into pork and chicken. You don't need to use a lot of sugar, as the rum itself will taste of molasses, so a rum marinade is perfect for high-temperature cooking on the grill, barbecue or skillet. Try this marinade next time you're cooking chicken thighs, drumsticks or wings:
The freshly-squeezed juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons dark rum from Barbados or Jamaica 2 tablespoons of Mushroom Ketchup or soy sauce 1 teaspoon brown sugar 2 cloves…

Exploring Rum

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I've found it extremely difficult to get started on this post. The history of rum is inextricably tied up with the history of slavery and the UK's part in it. I was educated in one of the cities most involved in that trade and witnessed some of its continuing legacy of poverty, discrimination and oppression. Learning at a university that had been endowed by merchants who had owned slave ships means that I am also a beneficiary of slavery, too. Recent events have made me acutely aware of the risk of causing hurt by what I write, and I hope you will be gentle in correcting me where I have been insensitive.

Portuguese colonists brought sugar cane to Brazil from Madeira. The soil and climate suited sugar well. However, sugar cultivation is labour-intensive and enslaved people were brought to the colony as cheap labour. The Portuguese also brought copper pot-stills, which they used to distill the fermented cane juice. Although sometimes referred to as "Brazilian rum," it…