Why foil is the national paper of The Bahamas!

Island Food ToursBlog

Picture it: Sicily 1922. You’re at a great back yard party, music is pulsating, vibe is right, beautiful people and the steamed chicken and peas and rice is unlike any you’ve ever tasted. You contemplate a second plate, but don’t want to stand out as “that guy” that went to the buffet table twice.  Ah what the heck, you go in for another round only to discover that the second plate was even better than the first.  Mission Accomplished! Now another dilemma presents itself; how do you enjoy this great meal again tomorrow when you’re at work with hunger pains and dreaming of the tasty chicken you devoured the night before.

Enter Stage Left: Foil Paper. 

Now other cultures may find it tacky to carry home food from an event, but oh no, not in The Bahamas; its not only expected, but planned for.  There’s no discrimination here, be it Reynolds or some generic brand, any foil will get the job done.  Now foil or “furl” as it is affectionately known in this region is held dear to us.  It is the wrapping containing our spoils from a party, grill and chill, baby shower or reception and will either be draped over a pan or platter, or will be used as the sole containment for our goodies.  The properties of foil molding perfectly to fit the plate, bowl or the actual item being wrapped make it easy and hassle-free and the perfect accessory for any meal.

Now foil works well for transporting foods that do not have a lot of gravy such as peas n rice, fried snapper, macaroni and plantains – a typical Sunday meal in The Bahamas.  However foods like cole slaw, chicken souse and stew conch do not hold well and more than likely would be transported via another means; but that’s another blog post.  Foil being a staple in the Bahamian dining experience, has yet to be replaced by other modes of wrapping such as cling wrap or wax paper and holds its title as King.  The only downfall is that its not microwave friendly, so there’s a little more effort involved in reheating.  This has not hindered its wide spread popularity with the masses.

Ask any Bahamian about the national paper and you’ll get a smirk, hearty laugh or tale about the last time they “tote” food from a party.  Tote – meaning to carry food unapologetically from a function to your car, with the final destination being your home. 

So the next time you’re in The Bahamas at a dining establishment, ask your waiter for some “furl” to take your leftovers home in and watch him erupt in laughter.