Turtle made official national dish in list of new symbols

| 11/03/2024 | 211 Comments
Turtle Stew dinner

(CNS): Cabinet has picked five new national symbols as part of its goal to strengthen the Cayman Islands’ identity and protect its cultural heritage. But as the government tries to unite communities around these new symbols, one of the choices may cause concern, namely Turtle Stew as the national dish, even though sea turtles are endangered species at serious risk of poaching. Formalising the consumption of turtle meat could undermine efforts to conserve this iconic marine creature.

In a release about the new national symbols, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Heritage described Turtle Stew as a “unique culinary dish that is reflective of the Cayman Islands rich maritime heritage”. Other new symbols include Swanky as the national drink, which the ministry said is “made with brown sugar and Seville orange (bitter orange), which has a distinctive bitter and sour taste”, though it’s usually made with brown sugar, water and local limes.

Caymanian Heavy Cake, traditionally made from cassava, yam or sweet potato, is now the national dessert; and the Cayman Quadrille is the national dance, which, according to the ministry, “embodies the spirit and rhythm of Caymanians”.

However, it appears that selecting the national costume proved a little more difficult, and the ministry listed a range of outfits worn decades ago. Women’s Everyday Wear is described as either a long dress or a blouse and long skirt in a “plaid gingham pattern in pastel colours, with the occasional option of an apron”. Women’s Dress Clothes are either a dress or a blouse and long skirt “in solid light colors, often with the blouse being white”.  

The ministry added, “Women’s attire was always of a modest nature; their heads were at times covered with a head wrap knotted at the back of the neck. This was accompanied with a straw hat or a dressier hat. At times gloves were worn for special occasions.”

For the men, there are also options in choosing the national costume. The Men’s Everyday Working on Land outfit consists of khaki shirt and pants, which apparently is subdivided into “rough khaki” for working and “dress khaki” for evening. The Men’s Everyday Turtle Rangers/Seamen costume consists of denim jeans and chambray shirts, while Men’s Dress Clothes are black or white pants, white shirt and the all-important undershirt.

“Men also often wore straw hats as protection from the heat and a smaller dressier hat for more formal occasions or church,” the ministry noted.

These new symbols will be added to the existing list, which includes the Cayman Parrot, the Silver Thatch Palm and the Wild Banana Orchid all of which are endemic species. The additional national symbols will also form part of a promotional campaign.

Announcing the decision by Cabinet to adopt these national symbols, Heritage Minister Isaac Rankine said the ministry was dedicated to the authentic documentation and promotion of traditional elements that define Cayman’s heritage. “As these symbols take their place in our national identity, they will serve as a living testament to the vibrant and diverse history of the Cayman Islands,” he added.

The release from the ministry said that Cabinet recognised the importance “of harnessing the history and heritage of the Cayman Islands and remembering the people, characteristics and foundation which has allowed us to achieve the level of success we now have. These symbols represent the way of life for Caymanian ancestors, how they used what they had to eat, live and celebrate.”

The ministry has started developing a “heritage campaign” to raise awareness and educate people about the new symbols and other aspects of Cayman’s past. “It is anticipated that fostering a deeper appreciation for Caymanian heritage will bring understanding to the cultural heritage of the Cayman Islands.”

The ministry added, “Members of the public are encouraged to be involved, support the initiatives and take the time to learn and appreciate Cayman’s history throughout the campaign and moving forward.”


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Category: Heritage and Culture, Local News

Comments (211)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hahhahahahahahahha………

    Don’t stop the carnival!

  2. Don says:

    Man oh man. You guys making an endangered species your national dish? That is not good on so many levels. You have an unique eco-system there take care of it.

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    • Dats my Cultcha says:

      It’s always been Turtle Stew. They just made it official, and if you’re not a generational Caymanian then we’re gonna have to ask you to sit this bone out because you do not have a full understanding of why this is important to our identity, heritage and the deep meaning this has for us throughout our history. Just be accepting that you may not fully understand why this is significant to us.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Generational Caymanian here, can I have green mango and sauce as my national dish please? Not a fan of turtle, thanks.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    The National Dish is a joke.

    The traditional turtle meals of my heritage were not prepared using the foul, rank, awful, unfresh, freezer-damaged meat of an inbred farmed turtle. The true and traditional National Dish was from wild caught turtle. Logg’rid is my favourite b’cuz turtle balls. (No! Not that kind of balls!) Seasoned, turtle meat balls.

    Wild caught turtle has a totally different flavour, aroma and texture in comparison to one grown in a smelly tank. I can tell the difference from the smell when it is cooking. Back in the day, I could even tell the difference between the meat of a fresh caught turtle and that from an animal that spent a lot of its life in a turtle crawl. I am sure a lot of older Caymanians can relate.

    Those of us living in the Sister Islands can on occasion still get the type of rich, glorious, flavourful meat that makes the true and traditional National Dish of the Cayman Islands. I admit to settling for an occasional meal of farmed turtle–maybe twice a year–but I do not deem that to be the National Dish.

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  4. Cayman Majority says:

    NB wake up we run tings here now! Cayman has no culture it’s a myth NO TURTLES on the menu.Killing all turtles should be Outlawed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Newsflash – almost any food can be contaminated with various pathogens and organisms from salads, to apples, to beef to chicken to rice to canned goods

      Sandra as usual leads the sheeple into her mindless clickbaiting and drama-stirring ways, no nuance, no critical thinking just whatever she thinks will get the most eyes on her nonsense

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  5. ᚾᚺᛒ says:

    It’s truly disheartening to encounter the relentless echo chamber of utter hatred and disdain directed towards the Cayman Islands, its local citizens, and their culture on this webpage.

    If there’s such a strong aversion towards these islands, I implore you to consider leaving. We can continue issuing work permits until we find individuals who genuinely appreciate and have a sincere affection for these islands and their citizens.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said!

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    • Anonymous says:

      don’t like it, then leave????
      is that the best you got???
      white south africans used to say that years ago.
      and no i won’t leave until i want to leave….until then i will continue to highlight the nonsense of this backward wonderland.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Misserable scum. Go home and pay tour taxes or STFU.

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        • an says:

          Well stated for a 3’rd grade Cayman education. Please look for better terms, spelling and logic than ‘Misserable scum’. And STFU is not the best term to engage a logical discourse on policy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You wish to r*pe and pillage this backward wonderland to your heart’s content well how about “reveal yourself” so you can receive the help you desperately need… just like the South Africans did.

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    • Anonymous says:

      OK, so justify Cayman in 2024 enshrining killing an endangered animal. This is not 1954; things have evolved (although possibly not some Caymanians). You know another species that is endangered??? Caymanians. Basic science/reality – evolve or die to species that do evolve.

      And no, been here since 1984 and we are staying.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Pot Kettle, surrender your UK passport and go independent with yourJam government and neighbours, we can leave and good luck to ya. Caymankind.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Then leave if you so desire.

        Do not overlook the fact that our forefathers, too, were UK citizens who departed and established ‘the empire on which the sun never sets.’ While your ancestors back in the UK idly sat by, waiting for the colonies to sustain and develop Britain.

        Now, centuries later, you suddenly appear and, because we cherish our culture and consume turtle meat, you attempt to confront us about ‘surrendering our UK passport and seeking independence with our ‘Jam government.’ We have maintained independence in the form of self governance for centuries.

        We, who hail from those colonies, possess a greater entitlement to a UK passport than many of you who now claim UK origins.

        Your feeble attempt at an insult regarding the ‘Jam Government’ is laughable. The UK doesn’t even have a government; it is subject to the whims of the EU, WEF, and the UN.

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    • So sad says:

      Good try. Unfortunately that old trope ‘Leave’, is not logical, but then I expected no less. Welcome to 2024! You wanted/needed our money; we came. You wanted/needed our expertise; we came. You got what you asked for – deal with it!

      It may be hard for you to understand that we love Cayman, but will not tolerate killing/eating endangered animals. We aspire for greater ethics; maybe someday you will understand…

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      • ᚾᚺᛒ says:

        Many have been coming here for years, building their vacation homes, investing in the island’s businesses, and sharing their expertise with a love for the islands, without taking anything more from us except enjoyment and a fair return on their investments. But many others have arrived with hats in hand; Cayman built them up and bestowed upon them fortunes of wealth, all the while insisting on shoving their self-righteous ethics down our throats while condemning our culture.

        It may be difficult for some to comprehend, but we will continue to slaughter and consume turtles. As for those ethics, they can go fly a kite with them. Deal with it.

        I couldn’t care less, but everyone better understand that Caymanians are still and will always be in charge here.

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  6. Elvis says:

    Wow really? Turtles?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman should actually be boycotted, for :
    Not being a party with the CITES convention on protecting endangered species.
    Farming turtles for consumption.
    Making turtle meat /cuisine a national symbol.
    Wake up Cayman !

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Farming turtles for consumption”

      You morons fail to realize how much good the Turtle Farm has done for the wild population of turtles in our waters. Just so you know the vast majority of the wild ones are genetically linked ones that have been released from the farm.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Good point! However, please do not refer to it as the “Turtle Farm”, it is called the Turtle Conservation Centre.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It’s the Turtle Farm, just like it’s Pedro’s Castle and Smith’s Cove. We can do without the euphemism in this case! Wasn’t it a Wildlife adventure park or some such nonsense at one point?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Those that you have not eaten.

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      • n says:

        Please understand: the Turtle Farm is a F.A.R.M. Any idea what a farm exists to do? Produce edibles, in case there was some confusion

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      • Anon says:

        A few years ago they were banned from releasing any more turtles because the animals had become so in-bred. Farming and conservation don’t go together.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You can be the first to leave! Lead by example, or you’re just a keyboard warrior!

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  8. Animal Rights says:

    Glorification of the genocide of sea turtles! If only turtles could seek reparation for the harm they have, and continue, to suffer under the guise of ‘tradition’.

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    • All I ask is for respect says:

      So what does it mean to you that this small archipelago has also protected the species in a bid to balance conservation and tradition? Nothing? The Cayman Islands have released more than 36k yearling turtles into the wild and this decades long programme has yielded a lot of success. We will continue to give thanks to God for what he has provided and we will continue to live by the rules that our leaders and conservationists have put in place to allow for a balance. Yea there are a few who don’t understand and break the rules, as a Caymanian I believe those people should be punished to the full extent of the law. But unless you have a long history and you have stories for generations of how our people survived by the blessing of these turtles, then please we ask that you respect the Caymanian culture the way we respect the many cultures that have come to be known as enjoying the freedom of these three tiny islands.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    At last, a credible explanation for Sir Turtle’s missing leg!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    we need more catagories.
    National Disgcace.
    National Embarresment.
    National Idiot.

    to name a few.

    Nominations now open

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  11. Thanks says:

    Can we make the sound of leaf blowers (added bonus if its a jamaican ‘playing’ it) the sound of the Cayman Islands?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think anyone in this chat realizes that the turtle eaten in Cayman does not come from the wild… Turtle meat in Cayman comes from the turtle farm whereby the turtle meat they sell is circulated back into their conversation efforts (and may i mention releasing turtles into the wild).

    Who is it to say what Caymanians can and cannot farm (or even eat?!)… I suggest you pick up a history book, or even hangout with a Caymanian to understand the significance of turtle here… besides, it will help with your PR application one day. Please respect where you chose to live.

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    • Anonymous says:

      so slaves born to slaves are ok then?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Who can I be sure that trutle meat sold locally is safe for human consumption especially since they are raised in tanks full of antibiotics? When was this meat last inspected by a reputable agency? Can I trust CIG food inspectors?

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        • Anonymous says:

          who knows, ask them. I haven’t been sick yet.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Ever ate a nice juicy Angus steak?

        • Anonymous says:

          Go and vomit up your KFC nuggets and Burger King whopper produced by animals living miserable lives of eating steroids and antibiotics under artificial light.

          Our turtles are in paradise compared to them. All animal lives matter so go and save the American Chickens and Cows and spare us the salmonella and ecoli.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Boy, you not talked to a Bracer yet. Wild tastes much better than farmed

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    • Anonymous says:

      i think the amount of people who poach on cayman is lost to you.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And without the Turtle Farm providing turtle meat where do you think 100% of the turtle will come from ? Idiots that think we should shut down the Turtle Farm shoudl consider this, because ther ei ZERO chance we will stop eating and loving turtle meat!!

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        • Anonymous says:

          The fact they think they forcing their culinary preferences on our people over a reptile- is the height of racism and bigotry. If we are ever so stupid to acquiesce to their pressure they won’t stop there.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if anyone realizes in this chat that the turtles we eat here are not from the wild… Part of the turtle farm’s business is from farming turtles to eat… Without income from selling turtle meat, there would be less money for turtle conservation efforts…

    Besides who the hell is it for anyone to say what Caymanians can farm and eat, what a bunch of nonsense. Please do read on the history of Cayman, it might help with your PR application one day.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Perfectly said.

      I think it is completely appropriate turtle is the national dish. My ancestors survived on it and other marine life, and many of us consider it a fine delicacy. The turtle farm has done more for turtle conservation than all the outrage combined.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This American agrees. I like turtle too.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The whole world farms cows , pigs,goats. sheep, chickens etc, etc etc etc to EAT. So what’s the difference of farming turtle ?

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      • Anonymous says:

        …cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens are not designated as endangered and widely protected. The lack of logic here is appalling. In the decades past when turtles were plentiful that was a different age. Please accept that situations change.

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        • Anonymous says:

          cows – extinct in the wild but still farmed and eaten by the ton. Please accept that once the animal is in the farm it is separate from the (endangered/extinct) historic wild population(s).

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    • Al Catraz says:

      Yes, and that lobster at the restaurant totally did not come from a marine park, lol.

  14. Anonymous says:

    9 people died from eating turtle meat recently, 8 were children…just saying…

    https://people.com/eating-sea-turtle-meat-kills-8-children-1-adult-chelonitoxism-pemba-island-8607415

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    • Anonymous says:

      We clearly don’t get the algae on our reefs that cause this toxin to be present in turtle meat. Caymanians would have gone extinct a long time ago if that were the case.

      Try again loser.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Don’t they have more important things to do? And turtle, really?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not really but they will probably sit down and chow down on lots of turtle stew and breadfruit, then take a nice long nap. Isn’t nice to be so productive when you are making a huge paycheck!

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    • I pay for my flights. says:

      They have to justify their $150,000 plus salaries, dealing with vitally important matters of State.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Haven’t the Politian’s anything better to do?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Like what? It takes lots of effort to get out of bed each morning and having to do all the people’s work.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    A country eating its own national emblem? Ridiculous. I mean, you’d never catch a Canadian eating beaver.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    pretty sure my garden shed back in ireland has more real history and culture than than all of the cayman islands….

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go back to Ireland mate?

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    • Anonymous says:

      But yet here you are!

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    • Anonymous says:

      then go back .. wtf?

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    • Leprechaun enthusiast says:

      top of the mornin to ya laddie

      Plant any potatoes in that garden of yours? If not, your statement is FALSE

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must be a West Brit with a comment like that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And yet you are here.

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    • Caymanian says:

      And yet, here you are.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You were probably living in a garden shed back in Ireland. Why don’t you go back to your culture, heritage and pototoes?

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    • Anonymous says:

      what a disrespectful comment. My island boasts of culture and rich history. wouldn’t hurt to educate yourself in the history and culture of these islands. I don’t know what possessed you to write such a comment and have such a hateful taste towards the Cayman Islands, but I think you should check yourself and if you happen to reside in the Cayman Islands I would suggest leaving and going back to the wonderful history rich place you left. I don’t think me and my Caymanian can appreciate you being here and feeling that way towards our people.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The comment was disrespectful and should not have been made. Perhaps it was made poorly in jest. But the Cayman Islands does not have a rich culture and history. That is just a fact. There were only 900 people here in 1802 just over 200 years ago. Much of Cayman culture is from Jamaica. Do you even understand what culture is, what it means? Caymanian culture and history have been elevated here purely because the government and some rich individuals have money to spend on it. We should all appreciate Cayman for what it is now and can become. Let’s not get lost in imaginary history.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You believe the google search you did is an in depth look into the history or culture. you really don’t belong here with that attitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks to persons like you, our Caymanian culture is disappearing. You seem to be a very hypocritical resident who is surely only here to grab up as much sweet tax free Cayman Dollar.

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    • Anonymous says:

      England should annex you again, then maybe you’d be able to make it at home under their flag rather than having to suffer here with us.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Turtles all the way down

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  20. Anonymous says:

    All marine life species today ingest/absorb microplastic. There is more microplastic in oceans, rivers and lakes than on land. Beach sand is a mix of sand and microplastic. We breathe microplastic. It is in our blood, brains and breast milk. Every sample taken from Alaska streams contained microplastic. Even in the areas with zero population. Wild Alaska salmon contains microplastics. I can only imagine what is in the Atlantic salmon.

    Microplastic is one of the major contributors to global warming. Science just don’t want to accept it for some reason. They are focused on fossil fuels entirely.

    I wonder what would cause the next mass extinction – microplastic or AI that takes control over humans. At least they are talking about regulating AI development. Nobody talks about microplastic.

    Do you think you, your body, your health are spared from microplastics? Think again, just like man made EMF it is invisible, you can’t touch or smell or hear it, yet it is killing slowly and surely.
    Turtles accumulate significant amount of microplastics in their bodies because they live longer.

    And there is nothing you can do about it other than refusing to buy or use anything plastic. If only people would do that changes would follow. Imagine nobody buys water in plastic bottles only in glass? Imagine you refuse to buy over packaged goods?

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    • Anonymous says:

      #1 Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences that make up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. At current rates plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
      #2 check The Ocean Cleanup site to see the scale of devastation. May be offer your expertise, volunteer, donate, or just educate others. But the most important acton everyone must take is to demand a ban on disposable plastic.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Imagine an island that doesn’t recycle glass. An island that has no dump plan and piling more and more on it every day.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You should leave and put your trash in someone else’s dump. Please do take your waste and carbon footprint elsewhere.

        Thank you.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I’m Caymanian. I don’t fly and I reuse/repurpose/recycle as much as I can. I also don’t drive a car. I catch rain water and have solar panels (although my old home was built to catch the breeze so windows open as much as I can). I hang my washing outside to dry.
          Where would you like me to go and what carbon footprint are you referring to?

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          • Anonymous says:

            the fact that you think you’re doing something by recycling shows how naïve you are. your trash just ends up in some third world dump.

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        • Anonymous says:

          And this is why Cayman has no effective plan for it’s waste.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why imagine? It exists and you live there.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Then it’s a good thing we only eat the farm raised turtle now.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Who in the HELL, serves turtle dinner with tomatoes ??
    What a mess !

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    • Anonymous says:

      They say curiosity killed the cat. So here goes – I have never eaten turtle. What’s odd about having tomatoes with it?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The idea probably being that if you’re trying to show a ‘traditional’ meal then don’t show something that wasn’t common in Cayman ‘a hundred years ago’. So rice is OK (imported obviously, but in bulk for so long its a staple), same with the corn meal to make the corn bread.

      • Anonymous says:

        Probably related to the idea that showing a ‘traditional’ dish with something that wasn’t a common food item ‘a hundred years ago’ misses the mark.

        So rice and corn meal (for the corn bread) is OK as they’ve been imported as staples since ‘forever’. Plantain and breadfruit, again imported plants but so long ago as to become staple ancestral items. Tomato (and the lettuce under it) are perceived as less historic as Cayman is not a natural place for growing tomatoes so there wouldn’t have been much if any in production back when we were surviving on turtle for food & income (even now its a limited season crop) nor could it be easily shipped in and the lettuce even more so on both counts. The iceberg lettuce & beefsteak tomato slices as salad on the side of the plate is a recent addition to our takeout plates. So though tomato has been grown in Cayman for a couple of human generations easily by now it still represents a ‘modern’ and ‘non-standard’ cultural evolution to what is supposed to be a ‘traditional’ dish. (And most of us aren’t very impressed with the taste or nutrition of the limp salad in the first place so it’s easy to hate on it.)

        You may have seen a refence elsewhere to ‘turtle not traditionally served with rice-&-beans’. Leaving aside factors of personal taste of current and past individuals (and beans vs peas in practice and vernacular) this is a reverse of the tomato. As people try to find ways to express their cultural identity rice-&-peas (as we used to call it, even after switching from home-grown pigeon-peas to imported red beans) have become seen as more traditional/cultural than plain white rice and so now becomes the default for any ‘local’ dish. While serving it with white rice is like you took a shortcut and have lost some of the local flavour. (Even if some people feel that the bean flavour is counter to the flavour of stews, be they turtle or conch or fish.)

        So for some people looking at the picture the rice-&-beans, and the side salad, are not right for a ‘proper’ turtle dinner.

        Hope this helps. And of course it reflects the thinking in my generational family(s), others opinions may vary.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I asked the original question. I had to come back and say I’m very grateful for the detailed history. Fascinating!!

    • Anonymous says:

      and rice n beans? It should be white rice if they want to be culturally correct

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  22. Anonymous says:

    A whole bunch of nonsense here. This bunch of Jaymanians want to ghetto up our country. Next thing you know the national snack will be canned cheese. More utter crud for me to get rid of when I am elected.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Put your name and might think about voting for you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My goodness, not sure what a Jamaican or turle stew ever did you but you need to simmer down before you suffer a stroke.

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    • Anonymous says:

      canned cheese, with bun. The salty/sweet flavour juxtaposition and soft even texture of the combination has my vote for national snack.

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  23. Burps says:

    “Culture” is the same everywhere. Do a funny dance, wear something peculiar and eat something gross and/or endangered.

    Foie Gras anyone? Anyone?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I vote to replace the Swanky with an ice cold Pepsi. Nothing better than a plate of Turtle dinner with a cold Pepsi.

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    • Cayman mon says:

      Yo, no Pepsi or Doritos…Pepsi gone woke!

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      • Anonymous says:

        For those not keen on the culture wars, “woke” is the hot new right wing way of saying something or someone offends their snowflake mentality.

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    • Patti and a Pepsi says:

      The PP! An Island Taste Patti & Pepsi is a national plate for mid-morning & lunch time, or anytime snack!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I used to like a Wholesome Bakery (of blessed memory) patty with my Pepsi. Especially that last little bite of the smooth crust. Finish it with a slice of jelly roll.

        Miss Hyacinth (Johnson) used to make a most glorious patty that you could get from Coemart (before that she had a little stand between Prep School and High School – you know where I mean). Smooth crust with a very slight tinge of curry flavour. No finer patty was ever made.

        In more recent times the king of Cayman patties was made at Pioneer Bakery in the Brac. But I fear the recipe has changed so it doesn’t seem quite the same.

        So that leaves Island Taste in fourth place. But sometimes you just have to make do.

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    • Cayman Mon says:

      Absolutely not. Pepsi gone woke. Will miss my Doritos.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe a Jupina

  25. Anonymous says:

    “Women’s Everyday Wear is described as either a long dress or a blouse and long skirt in a “plaid gingham pattern in pastel colors, with the occasional option of an apron”. Women’s Dress Clothes are either a dress or a blouse and long skirt “in solid light colors, often with the blouse being white”.”

    Thankful for this decision regarding ladies’ national wear! Performers, please stop using plaid gingham in strikingly bright red and blue colors for quadrille performances!

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  26. anon says:

    “National symbols”!, how about something important like minimum wage?.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Would need to be a nation to have national symbols and dishes and dances. Not a nation, thank god.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Decisions, decisions, new symbols and extra holiday, exhausting work for how much…minimum wage…it’s a politrikians life!

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Disappointed “cayman” beef didn’t make it on the list.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    lucky there ain’t more pressing issues facing the people of Cayman right now…..zzzzzzzzz

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious, but really what would you expect? 😂

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  32. Anonymous says:

    where does Cayman get the oranges for its swanky juice?

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  33. Anonymous says:

    who said Cayman had no culture!….zzzzzzzzz

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  34. Anonymous says:

    na it” Jerk Chicken ma’aaam.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    wow…eating an endangered species is the national dish???…
    would be the equivalent of the Chinese eating panda burgers….but they ain’t that stupid…
    pass me the headache pills…

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Choose an endangered species as the National Dish??!
    WTF??
    That is moronic beyond measure!

    As best as I can determine, the Cayman Islands is the only country to have such a species as its national dish.

    Quadrille the National Dance? Seriously? Check out the National Festival and see what people in the streets and clubs are dancing, and what the young folks are watching on YouTube. More like “wine an’ grine”.

    Quite telling is this: “However, it appears that selecting the national costume proved a little more difficult, and the ministry listed a range of outfits worn decades ago”.
    DECADES AGO!! ???? Really?? How is that nationally relevant now?

    Swanky?? Nope. No wayyy! Check out the total harvest and importation of Seville oranges and compare that to total importation of Greenies (Heineken beer). THAT will easily reveal the National Drink winner.

    It would far less disingenuous if, rather than naming a “National” dish, drink, dance, dress, etc, they call it “Traditional” dish, drink, dance, dress, etc. Then feel free to live in the past.

    Good sense prevailed in Dominica: The unofficial national dish of Dominica was “Mountain Chicken” but because this became an endangered frog species due to over-harvesting and disease, when it was time to select an official National Dish, the choice was Callaloo Soup. This choice was made by way of a national poll, and a consensus decision was made to name Callaloo Soup as Dominica National Dish, chosen among popular local dishes.

    Seven different species of sea turtles grace Earth’s oceans. Out of those, the ones typically found in our traditional turtle dishes are: hawksbill, green, and loggerhead turtle. All three are now endangered species.
    For God’s sake this is an embarrassment on a global scale. Somebody with good sense needs to follow the lead of Dominica and change this moronic choice of turtle as our National Dish. KFC gotta be in the running there, eh?

    The people making the “National” choices are living in the long done and dead past and they clearly did not make wise choices in all their selections.

    Hmmm…?? Now that turtle is our National Dish, will we be arrested for harvesting turtles for some tasty family feasts? I like turtle meatballs, so… I need t’get me some nice fat Logger’eds.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What to expect with the ‘loggerheads’ in charge, donkey, moon, vessel, wears wig of locks at cinema, assaults, drive into poles, kisses feet and on and on, unfortunately they are not endangered!

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    • When in Rome... says:

      This is not Dominica.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Turtle Stew as the national dish? Have they all gone bonkers?

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  38. Anonymous says:

    I am intrigued by Swanky. I was born in 1961 in WB. Growing up we loved to drink brown sugar sour orange drink, but never called it Swanky. I heard that name in my late 20’s and had to ask what it was. Seems to have been a name used more in the eastern areas.

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Finally some good news! I’ll be calling Miss Luz for a plate on Friday.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    And in world news reported yesterday.

    Eight children and one woman die after eating sea turtle meat on Zanzibar island

    you make this up.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/sea-turtle-meat-children-adult-deaths-zanzibar-africa/

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    • Anonymous says:

      In other news, eating ANY type of contaminated meat without proper cooking can be fatal.

      DUH.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It was actually caused by an algae that grows on the reef… Same idea as ciguatera toxin in barracuda and other reef predators. No amount of cooking will make a contaminated turtle safe to eat, but it appears we don’t get the sinister algae in this region of the world. So eat more turtle!!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Most turltle consumed here is from the conservation centre also. So no risk of them eating the algae.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Wow, just wow. Talk about tone deaf. Cayman Beef as a better alternative anyone?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Next you’ll want us to remove our turtling heritage from the history books.

      My grandparents and parents ate turtle, I eat turtle and my kids eat turtle. Go live somewhere else if that offends you that much.

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      • Anonymous says:

        My roots in Cayman go back to the very beginning and I have put turtle in my mouth once, at Pirates Week, as a young teenager. It was a piece of fat. Entirely fat. I walked away from the food stall, and spat it out.

        Turtles are not food for the civilised.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Those gone before you are spinning in their graves! Truly shameful response.

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          • Anonymous says:

            History does not spare ignorance and greed. Many folks in the US are rich as their ancestors were slaveowners. Many would return to those days out of greed. I have no doubt former slaveowners are ‘spinning in their graves’ as enlightened society has passed judgement on their actions. Eating endangered animals is criminal.

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          • Agast says:

            ‘Those gone before you’ may have acted as they did before turtles became endangered due to many variables (like OVERHARVESTING!!!). I bet many of those gone before us would welcome eating a different source of food. Maybe they are spinning in their graves at the lack of concern Caymanians have for their environment and their lost sense of responsibility for what they have been blessed with.

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          • Agast says:

            ‘Those gone before you’ may have acted as they did before turtles became endangered due to many variables (like OVERHARVESTING!!!). I bet many of those gone before us would welcome eating a different source of food. Maybe they are spinning in their graves at the lack of concern Caymanians have for their environment and their lost sense of responsibility for what they have been blessed with.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians used to own slaves, too, but that doesn’t mean we should perpetuate the problem.

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      • Anonymous says:

        whats yor point?
        My great granparents owned slaves.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Keep eating your turtle, my grandfather used to catch and kill turtle. They are now endangered species, and you think that should be the national dish?!?! As for the Cayman Parrot, its rare to see one anymore, the farmers all shot and killed them for eating their crops.

        How about we have a list of animal/flora/fauna that the Cayman Islands have led to the brink of extinction?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Leave it in the history books as history!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’m the OP and a multi-multi generational Caymanian going back to the very beginnings. Not that that should matter. Assuming facts about someone without anything to back it up is a silly game.

        You completely miss my point about ‘tone deaf’. Of course turtles do indeed play an important part in our Islands’ history, and many members of my family have enjoyed eating it (and back in the day catching them as well), but given the public profile of an endangered species, it isn’t a good look to make turtle stew our National Dish.

        Quite frankly I don’t expect anything more from this Government, and was there any public consultation at all on this subject?

        #WorldClass.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must have missed that whole “maritime heritage” part. 🤷‍♂️

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      • Anonymous says:

        What about local lobster or conch fritters or fish tea or fish fry or anything from the sea but an internationally recognized endangered species

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