26 June 2018

Mouth-Watering Small Plates

If you’re like me, black-eyed peas are something that you look forward to each and every New Year’s Day, preferably prepared alongside collard greens with ham hock and cornbread. Black-eyed peas can be made throughout the year, but that’s the meal where I wait with bated breath for them and where they really shine. Oh sure, there’s the black-eyed peas, tomato, and okra salad that you can get at Boma, which is wonderful, but it isn’t my first thought when it comes to black-eyed peas. Nomad Lounge, however, is making a convincing case that their black-eyed pea dish should be the one you dream and wait impatiently for.

Accara are new to the menu at Nomad Lounge, but not to world cuisine. These deep fried fritters are a street food staple throughout West Africa, most often employed as a snack, though occasionally utilized as a sandwich filling. Black-eyed peas form the basis of these fritters that are fried and served hot, similar to falafel. As a street food snack, they are often paired with kani, a spreadable sauce made from scotch-bonnet peppers. Nomad Lounge chooses a different route and pairs their fritters with the milder roasted garlic riata.

An order of the round fritters come five to a serving and are definitely on the fried food spectrum somewhere between falafel and hush puppies. There is an earthiness to the black-eyed peas, but they do well with whatever herbs, spices, or other components make up the dish they are in. In this case, the onion, salt, and pepper are more than enough to satisfy the taste buds and leave you wanting more.

The roasted garlic riata is a nice accompaniment. It is cool and creamy with a strong flavor of garlic. I’ll say this though, as good as it was, I applied the riata to my first bite and from then on it was all fritter, all the time. Nothing against the riata, but the Accara were just that good. Now, you give me some kani, and we may be having a different discussion.

The menu at Nomad Lounge is constantly changing. Some of the changes are seasonal, while others are used to highlight foods typical guests to Walt Disney World may not otherwise see and taste, a trait which I love in this crossroads of the world lounge. I’m hoping the Accara are available for a long, long time. They may not of displaced my daydreaming of a New Year’s Day meal, but they certainly are near the top of my favorite black-eyed pea dishes list.

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