Pitpit belongs to the same family as sugarcane - the grass family.
The part of the plant which is eaten are the flowers: as the buds swell, the plant looks as if it had a lot of long thin, sweet corn on it. The flowers do not open, and at the right time are cut off and sold in the marklets in bundles of from two to ten.
Pitpit can be baked in the oven as it is and when cooked, the sheaths are peeled off and the succulent creamy shoot is then ready to eat - you can add butter and pepper and salt and it is delicious. It can also be baked in the ashes or on hot coals.
Various other recipes have developed over the years.
Boil the pitpit until tender, cover with a white sauce with grated cheese and chopped onions on top and bake until brown.
Better still, cover the pitpit with coconut cream and cook it in the oven in a covered dish.
Boil until tender, drain and put in the refrigerator: cover with a thick salad dressing and chopped onions: it makes a delightful meal with cold, sliced, tinned bully beef, or even ham.
Add pitpit to all stews and soups. It has a protein value.
DATE: November 1992
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