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Dec 21, 2018

Rum Popo – a Recipe Tested by Generations for 55 Years

The Christmas holiday in Belize is synonymous with family get-togethers. And at the heart of the celebrations are the delicacies like the ham, Christmas cakes and the rum popo. To lead up to the holidays we want to share with you one of the Belizean traditions during this season.  Rum Popo is known to many as a more potent version of “egg nog” with the alcohol – and it is enjoyed by the young and the old.  To learn a quick and easy but flavorful rum popo recipe, reporter Andrea Polanco met up with Dawn Smith from Belize City. Her family has a rum popo recipe that they’ve been using for over fifty-years and today she shared it with us.  Let’s find out how you can make your rum popo for the holidays:

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, we are here with Miss Dawn Smith. She has a long standing tradition of making rum popo with her family. We know that for a lot of families Christmas time is when you do ham; decorate the house; get together and for many it is also a time to have a good drink.  So, Ms. Dawn, let’s talk about why making rum popo is such a big part of your family’s traditions.”

 

Dawn Smith

“Well, it all started about fifty-five years ago when my uncle brought home a recipe for my mother and asked her to make this. And she did it and tweaked it a bit and this is where we are at today. And from since then we have been making it for home use and then we branched out and sell it because my father passed away and my mom used it as a source of income to buy gifts for her grand-children. So, that is basically how it became a tradition in my family.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, today you are going to show us this recipe – how to make this rum popo. So, let’s get into it.”

 

Dawn Smith

“The first thing we do is that we start with an evaporated milk and this is just a small batch of it. So, we start with the evaporated milk. I prefer the Dutch Lady but I have used Carnation in the past but for some reason, Dutch Lady gives it a creamier, thicker feel to it. And then we add a condense milk – and we try to get as much of this into it as this is thick. This is something that my mom taught me and I plan to teach my child it as well.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, fifty-five years and counting this recipe is being passed on?”

 

Dawn Smith

“Yes, fifty-five years it is being shared.  It is hard to tell when it is done – it is by feeling if you feel it going smoothly from there then you get that feeling and you just add the egg. You add it slowly so that it blends in there, you add it slowly.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, how many eggs have you added – and I know you also do this step of where you remove the “eye” from the egg- talk to me about that?”

 

Dawn Smith

“This has six eggs and yes, first I add the eggs individually. I break each one, take out the eye and then from there we just add it like this. The reason for this is because when you drink the rum popo you don’t want to have something slipping down your throat. So, you take out the eye and just mix it until you see all the yellow from the yolk has disappeared and then you take it up one more speed on the mixer to blend it all in. Then you add in the vanilla – about one eight of a cup in vanilla and then we add the nutmeg either two small or one large. You just blend all of this. I know that some people put it on the stove, but we don’t do that because the rum cooks the egg. So, you just blend that all around and then you add the rum.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Again, is there any particular type of rum you look for when you make rum popo?”

 

Dawn Smith

“We use the extra strong – it is not a lot of rum that we use in this case it was only a quarter of the cup of extra strong rum.  And that’s it. You just measure it out.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, we know that some people buy their rum popo – but you can make it right at home. As you’re showing us – some fifteen minutes and you can make it. Give it the little kick that you want?”

 

Dawn Smith

“Right. The longest part is breaking the eggs – other than that to blend it is a quick process. And when you do fill it, it is not all the way to the top. The reason is that you need to give it room to shake because the nutmeg tend to settle at the top and so you want to give it that room to shake it vigorously and drink it. It is really nice if you put it in the freezer and freeze it. It is like ice cream.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Okay. So, now that we have the finished product. I have one of my co-workers here who will be able to test it out and tell us if Ms Dawn’s rum popo is as good as we’ve been hearing. You have Kenroy’s stamp of approval – he says it is rich and he is enjoy it.”

 

Dawn Smith

“Yes, he is enjoying it to the last drop. So, there is still time to place orders if you do want your rum popo for Christmas or the New Year. You can contact me. My number is 610-3088. Or you can find me on Facebook and Whatsapp me on that number as well.  My facebook is Dawn Smith and so you can reach me through those means.”

 

So, there you had it – a recipe to make your own Rum Popo at home. But if you don’t have the time or simply want to try out Dawn Smith’s recipe, you can call 610-3088 and get your rum popo for this holiday season!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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