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Ayaso Nice @ International Food Fair

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by Tammy Facey (subscribe)
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A true taste of the Carribean
Strolling through the city centre, on New Street, I spotted what I was hoping to see for the last six months - a young coconut with a straw sticking out, and an unassuming pedestrian happily slurping away.

International Food Fair, young coconuts, coconuts,
Young coconut

I knew they had got it from the International Food Fair, (where else?), so I went into Victoria Square, down the steps of the fountain, and found what seemed like a mirage at first: the Ayaso Nice the Jamaican food stall.

Smelling the unmistakable scent of home cooking, barbecued chicken, and the familiar seasonings that filled my nostrils, I knew the young coconuts couldn't be far away. Low and behold, at the right side of the stall were boxes of them, along with a man who introduced himself as Rascaman chopping off the woody exterior. As he created a hole in each coconut and popped straws in for buying customers, I couldn't resist a chat with the man who seemed like Jesus at that very moment.

International Food Fair, young coconuts, coconuts,
Young coconuts

The coconuts are imported from Costa Rica, and come in two varieties: small (2.50), and large (4.00). The price per coconut is a little bit steep for the cost of a drink, but once you've tried sweet, hydrating juice of a young coconut, there's really no going back. If you're eco-friendly, however, you won't waste the jelly-like inside of the coconut, which can be enjoyed with fresh mango and pineapple. The rest of the coconut can be placed on a compost heap/compost bin.

If you've been searching for young coconuts for as long as I have, the stall will be music to your ears. They sell traditional Jamaican cuisine like dumplings, festivals, soup, rice and peas, and familiar meals like chicken and rice, or chicken with steamed vegetables. Vegetarian options are available too, such as 'veggie patties', and vegetable dumplings. Meals start from 3.50 for a 'small' portion, and 4.50 for a 'large'. Note, a small portion is more than enough for two people with small appetites.

International Food Fair, traditional food, Carribean cuisine, young coconuts, coconuts,
Carribean stall

For the sweet toothed, raw sugar cane is stacked at the back of the stall. I was very impressed with Ayaso Nice- they're really providing an international experience, and I find it so refreshing that foods of my heritage are available in Birmingham city centre.
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Why? Traditional Jamaican Cuisine and fresh young coconuts
When: 10am - 09.30pm
Phone: 07957454047
Where: Victoria Square, down the steps
Cost: Prices start from 2.50
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