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    May 22

  • 06:39 AM

A SLICE OF BAJAN LIFE: Pork and lime at Souse Factory

Wendell Callendar,

Added 15 June 2010

slidersousefactory

Puddin’ and souse  as a special delicacy consumed by young and not so young especially on Saturdays is a tradition in Barbados. The social intercourse that accompanies the consumption of this delicacy and other related pork-based products  is, however, perhaps  the epitome of Bajan  life on Saturday. Last Saturday afternoon, the Souse Factory at Cliff Land,  St John, bore all the marks of happy  Bajan living.The first piece of evidence that greeted us was the prominently located menu showcasing the indelible marks of pork and pork products: puddin’ and souse, pork cutters, ham cutters, mango chutney roast pork, and fried pork mingled with other items like sea cat, chicken steppers, baked pineapple, barbecue chicken and frizzled  salt fish.Even as we approached the Souse Factory, we could see from the number plates on vehicles lining the street and in the nearby car park that the patrons had come from nearly every parish. The group sitting closest to the entrance  had travelled from  St Peter. Juan Small, Kathy Kellman, and Shawn Johnson had accompanied the  England-based Barbadian Sandiford brothers, John, Michael and David.John told us that  every time they returned home, they found their way to St John to this particular spot.“We are pork lovers.  We love the food, the atmosphere and the  music here,” he declared.As we chatted with the St Peter folk, patrons kept strolling in, among them Tom Grant, well known entrepreneur, who was  just passing through  to pick up an order. He had high praise for the Souse Factory.“This is a good place to lime, and besides  I don’t feel like a Saturday unless I eat the stuff here,” he stated.Another group of three women, who preferred to remain anonymous, sat quietly eating near to the serving area, where an orderly system of service by number was the order of the day. They seemed unwilling to entertain much conversation, but at least we discovered that they were first-time patrons. At the bar, a few men tried to be inconspicuous. One said this was not the place he was supposed  to be. However, one effervescent young man who proudly offered his name as Scrawl Up (real name Terry Cadogan) was quite game. He let it be known that he was an associate of calypsonians Pong and Contone, and they were all members of the  group Scrawl Up Confederation. His  love was rhythm and blues, he said, which he sang for weddings.As we worked our way to the back, we bounced into a group who seemed to have a preference for the alcoholic spirits. Bobby Matthews, who declared himself the chairman of this group, spoke of the therapeutic nature of  the Souse Factory.“After a whole  week we come here to relax,” he added.Proprietor Neville DaCosta Went and marketing director Kerry Robinson both added their friendly touch to the service, with the latter being quite bubbly at the bar and Neville clearly  a welcoming host.

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