The first indications that this Honduran stall might sell Garifuna food were the frocklike dresses worn by several of the women; their hair was wrapped, as well. A second sign was the grayish-brown mass tucked in one corner of many platters.
Shown below in extreme closeup, darasa consists of grated banana and coconut milk, plus salt and black pepper, steamed in a banana leaf. Though sometimes described as sweet tamales or dumplings, the impression was more starchy. With pickled onions, rice and beans, and shredded cabbage, darasa was an additional accompaniment to juicy, fresh-grilled chicken ($15) or beef.
Also shown: peteta, often called pan de camote, and pan de yuca ($2 total), moist Garifuna desserts made from sweet potato and cassava respectively; a chicharron-and-cheese Honduran pupusa ($3), dressed with the customary encurtido, or spicy cabbage slaw, as well as magenta pickled onions and a greenish-black half-jalapeño; a baleada ($3) folded over mashed fried beans and crumbled cheese; and a hot cup of atol de maiz ($2) aswim with whole boiled kernels of corn.
Despite the pan-Central American name, the sky blue and white of Honduras are, by far, the most common colors at the festival. I expect that the same is true of the accompanying parade, which typically begins around noon and proceeds from the vicinity of East Tremont Ave. and Southern Blvd. to a dispersal point near the festival grounds. I've managed to miss it twice now.
Central American Festival
Crotona Park near Claremont Pkwy., Bronx
September (the 2012 festival was held September 9)