Callaloo is Dominica’s new national dish

A bowl of callaloo. Photo credit:
A bowl of callaloo

Dominica now has an official national dish.

Chief cultural officer, Raymond Lawrence, announced that callaloo will now be Dominica’s national dish.

He made the announcement at the opening of the island’s independence celebration ceremony now taking place at the Bay Front in Roseau.

The choice was made through a series of surveys carried out among Dominicans on radio, in the hotels, through a LIME texting feature, and print media including Dominica News Online.

It presented the choices of callaloo, sancoche, broth, fig and saltfish and titiwi.

The choice was then forwarded to cabinet for approval.

The new dish replaces the Mountain Chicken which was Dominica’s unofficial national dish for many years.

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  1. Annoyed
    March 30, 2018

    My word…who voted…like really. I’m all for the no frog cause it needed to be changed. But who in their right mind go on a fun holiday want this to eat/drink…I mean it reminds me of what I would drink during a hurricane or storm…more research needed to be done.

  2. crrole queen
    April 15, 2014

    Bon apetit…

  3. Lucia
    March 17, 2014

    Caribbean people stop all the fuss and respect the dish, it’s their choice, stop judging and unite

  4. antir
    November 4, 2013

    bad digusting yuck :-x :-? :-? :arrow: :evil: :idea: :roll: :twisted: :-x :-P 8-O :) :)

  5. wotty
    October 31, 2013

    i am glad it is change because frog is disgusting

  6. Anonymous
    October 24, 2013

    I doh care wat nobody say but I glad its callaloo for our national dish
    :) :-D

  7. October 5, 2013

    Hello and good afternoon my people. Well Trinidad and Tobago already have that as their national dish and they prepare a serious Calaloo. I think we should find another dish which is really Dominican otherwise we will be in competition with TNT. Anyway I love Calaloo and I don’t care who’s dish is it.

  8. Anonymous
    October 5, 2013

    What is titiwi?? Nothing by in trinidad

    • Anonymous
      May 31, 2015

      TITWI is a tiny Fresh Water Fish the size of a spike on a Dinner Fork, usually steamed and served on Rice, and also used to make Fish Cakes which we call ACRA TITIWI..

  9. annonymous
    October 1, 2013

    how can you Dominican copy other people’s dish. as far as am aware Callaloo has been very popular in Barbados and Jamaica for decades- how can Dominica make it a National dish- There is no callalloo growing in Dominica except dasheen leaves. so where on earth are you going to get the callalloo from?

    • Anonymous
      November 18, 2014

      well my dear if you don`t know dasheen leaves is callaloo.
      all other leaves can be a substitute like spinach ect.but the real callaloo is dasheen leaves and Dominica has lots of that.
      but I really think they should have picked something else,too many country has that as their dish.

    • Anonymous
      May 31, 2015

      The Dominican Callaloo dish is not the same as the Trini,which is the Green Vegetable served as a side dish along with Rice, and in Jamaica it’s the Green Veg served with Codfish or as a side Veg.. Dominican Callallo is the Dasheen Leaf made as a SOUP with mainly CRAB, and called CALLALOO SOUP..

      • Ms
        November 30, 2017

        Thanks for the clarification. One thing in one country is sometimes known by a different name in another, like in this case. I just learned what is green banana is known as green fig in another country.

        • Candy
          September 6, 2019

          That’s no clarification since dasheen leaf is
          Callaloo In Trinidad, Grenada, St.Vincent and other southern Caribbean islands and it’s used to prep crab and callaloo as well as callaloo soup.

    • Anonymous
      May 31, 2015

      NOTHING IS BEING COPIED…Every Island prepares what they call Callaloo differently..The Dominican Callaloo dish is not the same as the Trini,which is the Green Vegetable served as a side dish along with Rice, and in Jamaica it’s the Green Veg served with Codfish or as a side Veg.. Dominican Callallo is the Dasheen Leaf made as a SOUP with mainly CRAB, and called CALLALOO SOUP..

    • Bakes
      May 11, 2017

      Excuse me I remember the Barbados Netball team coming to DA in the 80s and when served with callaloo they turned their noses up. They stayed at the Cheery lodge Hotel. So what you talking about Callaloo in Barbados.

  10. Stuppes1
    October 1, 2013

    We do know that Callaloo is also the national dish of Trinidad and Tobago!

    • Anonymous
      October 29, 2014

      i glad for you police will ares you in your skin :-P

  11. Anonymous
    September 30, 2013

    Caribbean people eat the same food, prepared in many different variations. Instead of comparing ourselves (not surprised we are doing this even in this instance), represent the uniqueness of the DA callaloo. Dominicans are too quick to put OURSELVES on blast! The level of pettiness and ridicule that we put ourselves thru is unnecessary. Go market DA callaloo and stop the malarkey!

    • Anonymous
      October 25, 2014

      i love crab :lol:

  12. Sean
    September 30, 2013

    Needed to be titiwi Very unique and represents Dominica.

  13. .
    September 30, 2013

    papa national dish calaloo. meself when tings tough and i have spinach and coconut i making a fas here goes the callalooo.. so u must tell us how to prepare it because national dish should be unique so when visitors come they have to pay good money for they national dish.. bust because it has this special taste they don’t care how much they spent just to know they have tasted the national explain mr lawrence what is really going to happen is there a special spot the dish will be found because of the special taste? ell me.

  14. FIRE........FIRE....
    September 29, 2013

    I am not against the nation dish, but callaloo is prepared in so many different so many contries, are we suppose to expect the same every day callaloo grand mamma cooked when she/they had no meat? or are they planing on coming up with a different/unique/secrete ingredient? if it is the regular callaloo and gloo coco I see no use..maybe an ingredient or a unique touch which can be found only on the island..

    Guess now it is time to call on Dominicans world wide for their impute and ideas, submit their own recipe, who knows what can happen? great mind can come together….even if we sometimes see more reason to condemn then to support..WE SHOULD LEARN TO LOOK FURTHER THAN OUR EYES CAN SEE….

  15. Choops
    September 29, 2013

    So boil callaloo is our national dish magaysah!

  16. September 29, 2013

    good for you brother lawrence,always love.keep on dancing.

  17. ZEXZEL
    September 29, 2013

    Throw a couple of Lazar legs in and you good to go.

  18. juice
    September 28, 2013

    Now i don’t feel unpatriotic in other ppls land cuz i eat kalaloo once evry month even i doh have the good old smoke meat my mom makes so well,
    merci Dominque et bon appetit à tous!
    Un plat qui mérite bien recognition pour sa couleur de nos forêts et sa velouté de nos rivières , awwww comment mon île me manque. Nul part est comme chez soi……

  19. hm!
    September 28, 2013

    ewwww! :-?

  20. penville voice
    September 28, 2013

    horrible choice……a national dish should stand out. callalloo is a Caribbean dish, everybody eats callalloo. bad choice!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cyrique
      September 30, 2013

      How was this decision arrived at ? I’m not impressed at all. What makes callalo unique to DA?

  21. junior
    September 28, 2013

    dno, can we get a recipe please

  22. Nome
    September 28, 2013

    After knowing that Trinidad’s national dish is callaloo we still went ahead wit this i am so disappointed.i think we should rethink this and have Ti Ti Wi instead for reasons being the it can be found in the river which is one of our main attributes and another being that if Ti Ti Wi would be our national dish we would now make a greater effort to protect our rivers from which the Ti Ti Wi comes from. we would now be original and do some thing good in the process.

  23. bigmack
    September 28, 2013

    Thats more like to-lou-lou! Bake chicken and pasta i say

  24. hmmmm
    September 28, 2013

    I wonder what the Trinidad ians would say when they hear dominica have the same national dish as them -_- allu just looking for trouble

    • yes
      September 28, 2013

      That and the fact trinidad is a more popular island than Dominica so they are already known for their callalo while Dominica is not very much known at all plus they have nicki minaj to advertise their callalo who we have sot they sot .

      • Cyrique
        September 30, 2013

        Negative!!! God bless DOMINICA !!

      • Anonymous
        September 30, 2013

        Lol u sort!!

  25. Big Teeth
    September 28, 2013

    Some people must reach in hospital with itching throats after they eat that!!!

    • Think About It
      September 30, 2013

      Hearty laugh…. you ‘re too much,but you speak the truth.

      • pedro
        March 20, 2014

        as if he is a complete fraud

  26. BMB
    September 28, 2013

    (what kind of)Callalou? The decision is a good one, but somewhat vague. Crab callalou? Smoke meat callalou? Or both? I hope before Mr. Lawrence will clarify/expand on the specifics.

    • Cara
      September 29, 2013

      Callaloo is a bush. It does not have to have any meat, or whatever meat you put in is up to you. It is a vegetable. (Tonnerre!)

  27. Cali
    September 28, 2013

    What happen to fig and fish with pepper?

    • Lucian
      September 30, 2013

      that’s our national dish,voleur :lol:

  28. dombway
    September 28, 2013

    How is it made? 8-O someone please supply the recipe…I may want to try it out.

    • .;
      September 30, 2013

      put calallo in the pot
      add pepper to make it hot
      put coconot
      and that is callaloo u got
      natioanl dish sot

  29. Diaspora
    September 28, 2013

    I drink and eat callaloo in all forms in Trinidad and other Caribbean countries.

  30. Seriously?
    September 28, 2013

    It’s not even a unique dish. Jamaicans eat callalou like it’s bread. Seriously?

  31. BRUTUS
    September 28, 2013

    if you are not satisfied with the national dish, well name your unique dish, please for God’s sake what do you think we have, other countries in the Caribbean does not have?

  32. Sheena F Xavier
    September 28, 2013

    Callaloo?! Why?! You might as well of kept to the original why was it changed the other islands have kept their dishes. I’m disappointed.

  33. educated fool
    September 28, 2013

    what we have to do now is have a national recipe for our national dish,,,heres mine.
    serves four

    three bundles of young dasheen leafs
    milk from two dry coconuts
    three cloves of garlic
    one sprig of thyme
    one small onion
    two stalks of local celery
    four seasoning pepper
    1/8 cup of oil
    1/4 cup margarine or butter


    1.prepare dasheen leafs buy peeling the thin membrane on the outside of the stalk,remove any brown spots on stalk or leaf,wash well under running water and then roughly chop and put to one side
    2.peel and chop onion and garlic
    3.wash and chop remaning seasonings
    4.remove flesh from coconut and grate,put 1/4 cup of grated coconut to one side,place remainder in a suitable container and pour 2 litres of boiling water onto coconut and leave covered for at least 15 minutes suitable pot on stove and add oil and margarine
    6.add onion,garlic and seasonings,saute until tender then add chopped dasheen leafs,continue to cook until dasheen is limp,stir often
    7.using a fine strainer or cloth squeeze the cooled coconut milk into a container making sure you get as much liquid out as possible.
    8. put 1/4 cup of coconut milk to one side and add the remainder of milk to the pot
    9,simmer gently for at least 1/2 hour to ensure that the soup does not scratch,stir often and add a little water if required due to evaperation.
    10.remove from fire and allow to cool. the reserved grated coconut under a grill or in a small pan and brown.
    12.blend cooled soup until smooth
    13.return soup to stove and reheat
    14.add salt and pepper to taste hot soup in bowl and sprinkle with coconut milk and browned grated coconut

    this menu is for a classic callaloo,you can use spinach if you can not get dasheen leafs and you can add scotch bonnet,crab,smoked meat,crayfish,anything that you as the cook like.the only thing i would ask for it to be ours is not to use chicken cube,bohio,sazon ect,i know some pepole can not cook without these things,but trust me, all they do is take away from the natural flavor.
    let me know if ive forgotten anything and
    Bon Appetite :lol:

  34. The Onlooker
    September 28, 2013

    Any dish is good for me they are all uniquely delicious. Callaloo it is, callaloo it will be! I love it

    September 27, 2013

    At least we can eat it all year round.

  36. anonymous
    September 27, 2013

    Yes…but I still don’t know what it is. Can someone help me understand what exactly this dish is?

  37. karla
    September 27, 2013


  38. #justsaying
    September 27, 2013

    Poor decision!

    • Popam
      September 28, 2013

      It is the people’s decision. hope you you contributed.

  39. lovely
    September 27, 2013


  40. Tdot
    September 27, 2013

    Oh wow!

    September 27, 2013

    Although Trinidad and Tobago has this special dish as a special food, l think that this could be a special one for D/ca. If D/ca think they can make it better than Tribago, then be the West Indies’ guest. Somebody needs a fight.

    • trinidominican
      September 28, 2013

      Lol dominica callalo is no where near better than trinidad from my experience, so they should change it to something they can prepare better cause for the ten years I’ve been in dominica I’ve yet to taste a nice callalo,

      • September 29, 2013

        Every nationality cooks calaloo diferently. Jamaicans cook it without meat as a side dish and they do not cook it with coconut milk. Trinidadians cook it with okra as they blend the two together and wirh coconut milk which sometimes taste sweet as the coconut is usually not boiled enoughand it is very slimmery with the okra. They cook it with crab or salt pork. Dominicans cook it with coconut milk as a side dish or with crabs or salt meat or anything desired. So for a trini to say that she has never tasted one in da meaans that she cannot cook it because unlike trinidad dominica has all the ingredients to make the most delicious calaloo ever. I get all the ingredients to cook it in canada so trini who like to brag and say things to put dominic a down what the hell r u doing there. When trini has the best of everything for u.

    • September 28, 2013

      Are u kidding me. You trinis should not be talking about cooking. I worked with a bunch of them and even had one as a sister in law and the crap that they cooked made us co workers and family vommit. One brought a dish at my childs confirmatiin and i did not even bother to serve it.

  42. Justice and Truth
    September 27, 2013

    Interesting to note. Different colors of a few small pieces of sweet pepper or carrots or other small pieces of vegetables for decoration with meat (fish if preferred but optional),smoked could be placed in it and also for taste. Just my idea. On occasion, this is how I would prepare it.
    A bowl of callaloo over boiled rice (could be prepared in different ways) would be delicious. Served as a soup would be palatable. I can’t wait to make some. :lol:

    • Justice and Truth
      September 29, 2013

      Some of you appear not to have any common sense, giving thumbs down for making a positive statement and contribution. What is wrong with you? Is this all you can contribute to on this Website? Then, it is nothing.
      You have a mental problem. When last you saw a psychiatrist? It appears to me you need to see one now and to receive counseling. You are strange people. Are you truly Dominicans? But not kind and loving ones as you depict.
      Strange characters, always giving others thumbs down for making positive and true statements. This is a big problem on your part. It gives me bad vibes about you. God knows who you are. Strive for goodness to all and to practice same. It will make you happy and peaceful.

  43. kathrine Joseph
    September 27, 2013

    callaloo with what is it crab or callaloo and rice callaloo with smoke meat what

    • All Ears
      September 28, 2013

      Does it make a difference? It is an opportunity for people to be creative. Stop being petty…Think of yourself as the chef, what would you do? Come on let’s get on with the program!!!! The decision is made. You can either get on the bus ……(you know what!!!!!)

    • Justice and Truth
      September 29, 2013

      Excellent question. It must be served with a side dish or vice versa.

  44. Anonymous
    September 27, 2013

    Not good.

    September 27, 2013

    Great choice Dominicans. So callaloo it is.

  46. Caribbean national
    September 27, 2013

    Is callalou even native to Dominica? I am wondering because a national dish should be a distinguishing national symbol, and callalou seems to be a Caribbean Dish.

    • prodigalson
      September 27, 2013

      cornmeal native to barbados? coucou n flyfish is their national dish. saltfish native to jamaica? ackee tree growin in every caribbean country, but is their nation dish. support d ting, doh try n bring it down

    • Justice and Truth
      September 29, 2013

      I knew of Callaloo since childhood. We should find out which country first knew of it and had it also as their national dish. It obviously originated from a French country. It is worth the research but will we find the answer?

      • Trini
        July 11, 2022

        The origin is jute and spinach soups of West Africa. Each West African country has a version. All Callaloos from French Creole islands are similar and we may consider Martinique as the source since slavery in Martinique began earlier than some of the other French Creole islands. The slave holders, enslaved Africans and free people of Color came to Trinidad from Martinique and other French ruled islands in 1783 (Cedula of Population). Trinidad was underpopulated with only about 1000 persons on the island so the Catholics asked the Spanish Governor to migrate and were granted permission since Catholicism is the main religion of Spain. France however is no longer a Catholic country, they are now very secular. Similar recipes are in Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Vincent and Dominica. Trinidad, was the first island to start adding coconut milk to Callaloo. However, it is not our national dish. All the best from a Trinidadian who has Dominican, Vincentian and St Lucian family ties.

  47. ....................
    September 27, 2013

    Both should be the number one choice.

  48. ti nom
    September 27, 2013

    disappointing,why dont we want to stand out from other islands?

    • Anonymous
      September 28, 2013

      What was the rush?

    • Fed up
      September 28, 2013

      Ti nom, you know what, they should take all of you negative people and put you all one of the little island out in the sea somewhere and you all will definitely “stand out from other islands”. No one can please you all. Your brains are only activated by negative comments…give me a break. Your stupidity causes you to “stand out” enough. We do not need a national dish to do that.

  49. Cc
    September 27, 2013

    Why did they choose callaloo, that is a dish that is already eaten in many other islands. Why didnt they choose a dish that’s unique to Dominica?

  50. Anonymous
    September 27, 2013

    great choice

  51. DA massive
    September 27, 2013

    no way! best they had choose peleau!

  52. stella
    September 27, 2013

    I would have preferred (braff), but since the majority voted something else, then this is what it is. However, i would like to propose the spelling in kweyol so we can claim it. So my proposal is kalaloo.

    • Justice and Truth
      September 29, 2013

      I agree with you, “Kalaloo” would be an appropriate name since Dominica’s heritage is also French, to make it unique. The pronunciation commencing with ‘K’ is just fine.
      How many Stella’s are there in Dominica? I know one by this name. Do not know if you are the one. She resides at Goodwill. She is well known. Everyone should know her. She is a dear lady.

  53. CD
    September 27, 2013

    Is it me or does no one else realise that callalou is a regional dish? All across the Caribbean people cook callalou. What makes it unique to Dominica?

    • I agree
      September 28, 2013

      And the fact that it is already trinidad and tobago national dish , I hope when they hear dominica has the same national dish as them they wouldn’t make a big deal about it .

    • Cara
      September 29, 2013

      Calaloo in Jamaica is spinach. Dasheen bush is another story.

  54. "O" STRESS"
    September 27, 2013

    Thanks D.N.O. for being part of the survey. And being on top all news events. No sooner MR: Raymond Lawrence made the announcement I logged on and sure enough you reported it. U.S A.

  55. "O" STRESS"
    September 27, 2013

    I need a bowl now, with coconut cream and crab, with a shoot of nanee`to wash it Down. Bon a petite.

    • Cara
      September 29, 2013

      Bon appetit! Lawd!

  56. Onlooker
    September 27, 2013

    It was about time

  57. karla
    September 27, 2013

    breath of fresh air_( dan dee old dutty frog meat seriously whenever someone would talk bout our national dish i felt like vomitting )

    • karla
      September 27, 2013

      moderation moderation

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