Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
I beg to differ strongly with your letter-writer Rollins Howard that Barbados can boast of only four products indigenous to the island – Blackbelly sheep, spouge, road tennis and rum.
What about aloes, Barbados cherry, grapefruit and, dare I mention, sugar, for we discovered that it could be bred to produce new varieties, pioneered research for much of the world in varieties and produced the finest sugar ever.
That we failed to capitalise on our advantage and let others reap the sweets is no fault of the products.
However, his comments on the Blackbelly sheep seem particularly unfair and untrue. First, he says it produces very little meat. Blackbelly mutton has been compared in quality only to venison, virtually fat-free and superb in taste. For many years, I have bought young rams, mostly organically raised, from my friend Billy Poop in Shorey Village.
The baked legs and shoulders each provided an adequate meal for our family of five, with some left over. The sides went into soup and stew for a number of meals. Soup in my book means Blackbelly mutton soup, and I was raised in a house where every Wednesday was Blackbelly soup day. If all you want is quantity, go for the fat, old, retired New Zealand lamb.
There is at least one restaurant owner making a fortune out of Blackbelly mutton. He keeps his own flock and can afford to pay $500 for a sheep and make a handsome profit.
I have suggested elsewhere that we should have Blackbelly mutton outlets to provide a healthy alternative to the greasy fast food crowd, providing soup, stew, rotis, whatever.
Further, contrary to Mr. Rollins’ claim, the Bannister family had a sheep herd next door to ours when we came here.
Dr. Lance Bannister, always a pioneer, tanned the hides in the 1970s and employed a lady who made top quality handbags with them. We don’t need to send it to Italy.
Like most everybody else, I am flabbergasted that we have sent (gifted?) 1, 000 top Blackbelly animals to Guyana. On that score, I must agree with Rollins that “wisdom is too high for a fool!”
– Richard Hoad