The rainy season is upon us and itâ€™s really raining cats and dogs these days; at one time I really thought God forgot to turn off the sprinkler system. Ha Ha For the past few days it has rained heavily causing the the rivers to become swollen( a dangerous time to be close to a river) I even saw in the news that two persons got swept away by a river while hiking.
Mangoes and Pee Wah
When the rain finally eased up we got a chance to get outside to pick some Julie mangoes and Pee Wah in our backyard. Whatâ€™s Pee Wah? Some of you might ask. Pee Wah is our local name for the Peach Palm (Guilielma gasipaes). After some research online, I learnt some more surprising info about this tree that was in my backyard; I wasn’t aware that the tree had so many uses in other countries. You can check it out here:
Boiled Pee Wah (Kerekel)
What was striking when I was reading was the name the Peruvians called it. They called the Peach Palm “Pijuayo”(pee-whah-yo) and we call it pee wahhmmm! Close, donâ€™t you think? Probably the name is derived from Spanish, who knows!…Anyway we usually eat this as a snack by boiling it in salted water and allowing the water to evaporate afterwards using a special technique. I am lucky to have this tree growing in my backyard but Pee Wah is usually bought at the market but it is expensive and I know why.
There is some work in picking the fruit. This palm grows very tall and is thorny as hell or as we say in Trini â€œit have plenty pickaâ€. Sometimes you could spend a good amount of time trying to coax the bunch of pee wah down with a bamboo rod and still you don’t know if you’re going to get much because we’re not the only ones that love pee wah; the Corn Bird (Crested Oropendola) likes it too, so there’s a bit of competition to get to the pee wah first before the Corn Bird.
A point to note is that we have two names that is associated with the peach palm, pee wah is the first and refers to the fruit with the seed (as in the first picture), when the fruit is seedless we call it Kerekel. The tree in my backyard has made both on different occasions; maybe it’s pollination related but that’s just my theory.
Anyhow enjoy Pee Wah or Kerekel …boiled, salted and tasty.
The Pee Wah tree in my backyard
A bunch of the fruit, in this case we call it Kerekel
Place in a pot of water with salt added