Matthew Briggs-Legall getting his portion of pork chops from Tamara Coward. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock.)
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It’s all in the seasoning! That’s what makes the pork chops from small roadside shop Freddy’s so popular. In fact, they’re Bim’s Best.
The shop, located on the busy Tweedside Road just outside The City, was recently nominated in the Food Category of the Nation Publishing Co Ltd’s Independence competition Bim’s Best and won for their “world famous” pork chops.
Shop owner Viola Alleyne said she was happy and humbled by the nomination and winning the award, but was not surprised since people are always “raving” about them.
Alleyne’s assistant and main cook Tamara Coward told EASY magazine she too was excited to have won the award.
“I feel happy and great that people love what we do. Some days are challenging, some days are rough but we make it through. In all it’s good vibes here at Freddy’s,” she said.
And just why do those pork chops taste so heavenly? Alleyne said it was definitely all in the seasoning. However, she was quite tight-lipped about the ingredients for the special seasoning. She said just like the popular Kentucky Fried Chicken never discloses its secret ingredients, she would never disclose what makes her seasoning so great.
“It’s all in the seasoning, which is also home-made. That’s what makes it so great. I mix it up every night or every other night,” she explained. As for the ingredients, I really can’t say.”
Coward agreed that it was the seasoning which gave the pork chops that added flavour and kept the customers coming back.
“You don’t even need ketchup or pepper or anything. Some people prefer to put on those things but they are others who love them just like that,” she said.
That special seasoning has been with the business for almost 40 years, and it’s been that long Barbadians from all walks of life have been lining up daily to get pork chops, sometimes paying as much as $24 for one.
“Everyone loves the pork. Sometimes when we finish the pork chops people are still coming to get them and, sadly, we have to turn them back and they’re really disappointed because they would have come from as far as St Lucy and St Philip or from overseas just to get them. Chicken is okay but you don’t really get such good fried pork. Sometimes when they come they have to wait and they don’t mind waiting. As soon as it comes out the pot, they’re gone,” Coward said with a chuckle.
And since the demand is so high, EASY magazine was curious to find out just how many pounds it took to feed the pork lovers.
“We do almost 100 pounds of pork in a day. Friday is always more. Saturdays we sell a lot as well, but not as much as Fridays. We try to get our pork from one main supplier, but sometimes if we can’t do any better we would have to go somewhere else,” Alleyne said.
She also explained the process, from delivery to frying pan, which, surprisingly, is quite simple.
“The pork comes cut, and then I clean it, cut off the excess fat and then we just lime and salt it for an hour or so and season with the secret seasoning. When that’s done we just let it marinate and then fry it,” she explained.
Alleyne thanked her late father-in-law Freddy Simmons, the original proprietor, for coming up with such a “wonderful” idea.
“Thanks to Freddy for leaving such a good legacy because he is helping to feed the whole world,” she said. (DB)