Prepare yourself for this recipe and story with a taste of Caribbean
In the Caribbean, Cow Foot is referred to as “The poor mans food”.
1 Cow's Foot (cut into pieces)
1 can of Mr. Goudas Lima Beans (Butter Beans)
2 – 3 cloves of garlic
2 large onions
1 – 2 pieces of fresh thyme (1 tsp thyme flakes)
1 green onion or scallion
2 tbsp Mr. Goudas Seasoning Sauce
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 tbsp Mr. Goudas Trinidad Hot Sauce or Scotch Bonnet Sauce
Cow Foot may be purchased from your butcher or local Caribbean food outlet, which also sells meat. This will ensure that the Cow Foot is clean (hooves removed), and cut into serving size pieces.
Wash the cow foot, exactly as you would wash any other meat (chicken, beef and pork, for example).
Drain water. Chop the onions, garlic, scallion and thyme into pieces, and add to cow foot.
Add seasoning sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Cover bowl and shake vigorously to allow ingredients to penetrate the meat. Let it sit for approximately 1 hour, or overnight, if time permits.
This marinating of the meat is very important for the final results.
Place the Cow Foot in 6-7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until tender.
Approximately 2 to 3 hours (and sometimes even longer.)
Add butter beans in the last 5 minutes.
Add hot sauce and additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
(If you want your Cow Foot Dish to taste not only good, but SUPERB, add 2 tablespoons of Mr. Goudas Tamarind Sauce!)
Serve over a bed of rice.
(The above terminology is very common in cooking terms.
When Mr.Goudas saw this, he made it clear that, by bed of rice he only means a plate of rice.
Do not place the rice on your bed, okay!)
If this made you laugh, wait until you read the rest of the story!
Now we know that the COW'S FOOT is not a strange phenomenon.
It is actually just another type of meat that has been enjoyed for centuries by Caribbean and other nationalities, and is actually considered a poor man's food.
However, back in the 1960s and 70s this item was prohibited for sale in Canada.
So then, let us go back to that time and imagine Peter Spyros Goudas (as seen in the attached photo which was actually taken during this period), who had just entered the ethnic business, and had a little store in “Jewish town” as it was called back then.
It is currently called Kensington Market.
Imagine further that he is trying to cope with the needs of the different nationalities entering the store.
If you visualize that time, then you can image Mr. Peter Goudas, who was the owner of that store, with his broken Greek-accented English, trying to communicate with a Jamaican who speaks only Jamaican patois (broken English) and asks for Cow Foot and Cow Cod…
(In Jamaican circles, it is rumoured that soup made with the Cow Cod enhances the mans physical ability). Jah man. Irie!
So Peter did not understand exactly what these two items were.
All the while during the conversation, the Jamaican man eagerly tried to explain what Cow Cod is, by pulling his zipper down and explaining to him that it was the same thing "BUT quite BIGGER because it was from the bull!”
Now that we put you in the comedy mood, let us explain the pain and the effects after Mr. Goudas decided to fulfill the obligation and obtain these two items from the slaughter house.
The following week, he was quite happy to present the gentleman with the Cow Foot and the Cow Cod.
The gentleman was very pleased to receive the cow cod the way it was.
But when it came to the cow foot, he told Peter that it was dirty, hairy, ugly and smelly.
He said "Cha man. It should be clean, smooth, hooves off, and no smell. (Cheeups) And cut into cubes for cooking."
He also told Peter that back home in Jamaica, the hair was burnt off, but he would prefer if it were removed altogether.
Peter told the customer not to worry and that the following week he would have it ready for him, only if he were to teach him some Jamaican words.
Peter was promptly taught “Rass cloth" (bad word), which he believed meant “Good Morning”.
Peter used this word as a welcome greeting to each customer for many years...(If you have not laughed for the day, take this article to your Jamaican friend for an explanation, which you will get for sure!)
The customer left with the intention of returning the following week.
He left Peter behind still looking at the hairy cows foot.
The first thing he thought of was to give it a “bath” to make it look pretty, and dry it off with a blow dryer. After that, at least it appeared to look better!
He then wrapped it up in a few sheets of newspaper, placed it beneath his arm, and went around the block to the nearest barbershop.
He waited until all the customers had left and then asked the barber to close the door and pull the curtains down so that no one could see inside, since he had to do a special assignment.
When the barber looked at it, he told Peter he only had a license to cut human hair. So Peter then told him “I will give you a certificate if you pass the exam and shave this cows foot”!
Needless to say, Peter and the barber tried for the next two hours with very little success, leaving spots of hair all over the place. Even the razor broke a few times!
Since the job was not complete, Peter thought it would be a good idea to take the next step and go to the pharmacy. He had heard of this new discovery in hair removal for the ladies called Neet.
When he asked the pharmacist where he stocked the Neet, the pharmacist asked
“Who is it for?” Peter did not want to say it was for the cows foot, so he said it was for himself.
The pharmacist obviously thought that maybe Peter was some kind of a sissy because he was good looking.
He asked him what hair he wanted to remove and Peter responded “my legs man”, and lifted his pants to show his hairy legs.
Once he presented him with a bottle of Neet, Peter realized that the Pharmacist was puzzled because he kept scratching and moving his head the whole time. It was like he had doubts about the whole situation...
Peter took the Neet and went straight to his apartment to experiment with the new hair removal item.
It worked somewhat, but Peter determined that it was not designed to remove the hair from the cows feet. So the idea failed.
The Neet was much more expensive than the cows foot, and the barber had already cost him $20. This was starting to become an expensive and time-consuming venture!
Peter then remembered that the customer told him that the hair was removed sometimes by burning it.
So the other solution was to go to Home Hardware and purchase a blow torch.
The salesman asked what he needed the torch for and the response he received was “welding”.
So he was outfitted with a propane welding torch.
With his new equipment he started working to burn off the hair, which finally resulted in success, and some burnt spots.
The next assignment was to remove the hoof; so he took it to the nearest millwright shop.
After a few hours of using a vice grip, hand saw, hammer and a chisel, he eventually was able to remove the hoof.
Mission accomplished! Now he had to wait for the customer.
When the customer came into the store, Peter presented him with the cows foot.
The customer was very happy and taught Peter Goudas a new word “Bombacloth”(bad word)...Peter was ecstatic!
He now knew, not only how to say Good Morning, but also how to say Good Night!
Nevertheless, the following week Peter was presented with a big bowl of Cow Foot Soup from the customer.
After eating it, he felt the natural effects of the soup.
In current terms he calls it a viagra supplement.
And by the way, it was simply delicious.
Well, we hope you had a great dose of laughter from this story, although it was difficult to put it down on paper. Mr. Goudas thinks we need a little laughter in our life!
With the complete satisfaction of this particular customer, and the endless possibilities for future customers, Peter Spyros Goudas felt it would be a good idea to apply to the Canadian Government, to make an exception of the ruling.
This would allow for the sale of the cows feet on the open market provided they had been cleaned.
Finally, Mr. Goudas developed a technique to completely remove the hair without using the torch, scissors, hand saw, the barber and Neet.
He opened a small additional business to clean approximately 300 cows feet per day.
The hair was successfully removed by inserting the leg into a specific temperature hot water, for a certain length of time (without the leg being cooked), and by scraping the leg with a knife. The hoof was detached from the leg by heating it in boiling water and striking it forcefully against the ground.
So now you know THE COW FOOT STORY,
and who is the pioneer in the industry in Canada.
This former “poor mans food”, as it was initially referred to at the beginning of the article, we think will become a delicacy, since this article will be read by millions of people.
We think there might even be a shortage of cows feet, in which case butchers will begin to wish if only cows did not have just 4 feet, but 40 feet instead, like the centipede!
As always, we hope you enjoy making this dish and reading the articles of the man, who, although he is not selling cows feet anymore, is hoping that you will purchase the additional ingredients such as: Lima Beans, Salt, Black Pepper, Hot Sauce, Tamarind Sauce and of course Rice, under the Goudas label. And we all know they are the best.
We suggest that you do not use the above-mentioned Jamaican words without consulting a Jamaican friend! Although they may or may not mean Good Morning and Good Night, we suggest that you do not, and we mean DO NOT USE THESE WORDS WITHOUT CONSULTING A JAMAICAN FRIEND!!
This is a small note that we have to insert: Just a reminder that this article is not in any way a criticism of the Jamaican culture, but it is a real event that did happen.
Please see it for its own inherent humour.
People from the Caribbean, and particularly from Jamaica have been long-standing, loyal customers and friends of Mr. Goudas.
They love him and they drink to his health and happiness.
The above story reflects an article that was written in the summer of 2007.
The circumstances under which this article was written were very spontaneous.
One day Mr. Goudas was in a very talkative mood, and during the general break of the employees, he gathered everyone and started to narrate an event that had happened to him a long time ago.
His secretary, Bernadette Scott, immediately captured this story in shorthand, as told by Mr. Goudas and created this article.
Obviously those who heard this story facing the narrator in person had the privilege of seeing his facial expressions and hearing his laughter.
However, we are sure that even the ones that read it on paper will enjoy the humor, pain, and surprises this story reveals.
On a final note, this story will give you a taste of the very beginning of Mr. Goudas journey towards understanding the multicultural society of Canada, which he was determined to capture.
The story was written by Spyros Peter Goudas with the assistance of Bernadette Scott
Σπύρος Πήτερ Γούδας
The original book, The Cow Foot Story, ended at the above paragraph and 100,000 copies were printed and distributed. In fact, we do not even have one copy left.
Because of the demand, we are in the reprinting process and Mr. Goudas thought it would be a great idea to incoporate along with the recipe for the Cow Foot, a recipe for King Fish, which is also a Jamaican favourite, plus another short write-up involving this culture.
It is important for one to understand that this booklet has not been written for Jamaicans only, but for other nationalites to understand the Jamaican culture.
Should you scan the supermarket shelves, you will see a variety of foods from every part of the world. This is not a miracle. It was a conscious effort on Mr. Goudas’ part to study, understand, sample, create and then produce the foods of the different cultures.
This book has been written 40 years after his initiation into the food business and he has not stopped working since. He is a certified work-a-holic.
He has never taken a day off, not even even on the weekends.
It is not unusual to find him working through the night.
How else could he end up producing over 1,200 products from all over the world, or compiling over 1,000 recipes, a biography, 40 books, and voluntarily providing food (without charge) on a daily and year-round basis to senior citizens organizations and food banks, or disaster relief donations to misfortunes such as: Gilbert in Jamaica, Tsunami in Sri Lanka, earthquake in Haiti, flood relief in Pakistan, etc., etc.
Reality wise, it will take a very long, long time to read all the Letters of Appreciation on the websites, www.goudasfoods.com, or www.mrgoudasbooks.com.
In fact, in one the books titled,
Miracles Still Do Happen, his secretary states that he works 29 hours a day.
How did she come up with that phrase?
For more than 25 years, no one really knew what Mr. Goudas looked like until The Business Journal Magazine, published his picture and an article, in 1992.
In the article it stated that The Orientals thought he was Chinese, The East Indians thought he was Indian, and the Carribean people thought he was from the Caribbean, possibly Jamaica, or Trinidad.
How true this statement was!
Following The Business Journal article, the National Council of Ethnic Canadian Business & Professional Associations and the Federal Business Development Bank bestowed him with the Entrepeneur of the Year Award in 1993.
This prompted an explosion of Television, Newspaper and Magazine articles about him.
He was no longer unknown. Nevertheless, up to now, there are people who have their own interpretation of his facial expression or his nationality.
The following story is from his biography,
The Immigrant, and demonstrates the accuracy of the above:
“Yah Monnn” Jamaican Patois
(funny story) (recorded by Bernadette Scott)
The following article may seem grammatically incorrect, because it was written in the Jamaican patois language.
Although it is full of errors to the normal English-speaking individual, this sounds very good and natural when spoken by a Jamaican, and since Mr. Goudas understands this patois, it is left in the original form.
“Yah Monnnn, I know Goudas from way back, before me come a foreign.
Goudas and I are brethren. The I and him was tight ina high school back a yard!”
One of my favorite things working for Goudas Foods is listening to some of the usually funny stories Mr. Goudas humours us with at the time we are busiest.
He says, “Stop for a minute and listen to this!”
The following is one of them, (yes, another one, please remember he has a few years on us, so there are many, many anecdotes).
Mr. Goudas Spyros Peter Goudas was telling us that almost thirty years ago, in the 1980’s, that he had this friend who happened to be the owner of a grocery store, Gus Tropical Foods at Eglinton and Oakwood Avenues.
Ironically, Gus Kostas Patiniotis is also from Greece.
It was a regular thing for Peter to visit the store on Monday mornings, have coffee, socialize, discuss their homeland, review the sales of his products during the previous week, and to anticipate what the current week’s order should be depending upon the customers’ requests and preferences.
On this particular morning his friend decided to show Peter that he could make a Goudas Foods customer purchase another product with a little enticement.
Peter promptly situated himself behind the cash registers, sitting on a milk carton, and quietly sipping his first Greek coffee of the day.
Finally, up comes this gentleman, and from the first glimpse of him, one could tell he was of Jamaican descent.
He selected a few items and placed his purchases (which included Mr. Goudas rice) on the counter.
Gus began his approach: “Why don’t you buy (X) brand of rice, we have it on special this week?”
That sound is very popular to the Caribbean, it is the sound that results from.”Kissing one’s teeth”, and it is a negative, or rude response to a question or comment.
Many kids have been punished for doing this, within earshot of a parent or adult.
(But it is very funny when a Jamaican does it.)
Gus, the store owner, repeated the statement. And after a long silence and deep breath, the gentlemen looked at him and said, all in one breath:
“Man, wha you going on with?
What you know about Goudas?
Yah Mon, I know Goudas from way back before me come a foreign, Goudas and the I, are brethren,
The I, and him was tight ina high school back a yard! Bombo, This is me, paying respect to ma brethren! Jah kno.. Total up meh purchase, mon. No other rice ah fer me. Selassi I, Rastafaari! Cha Monnn. Cha, You Rat. Rasscloth. The monn ah want me to sell out meh brethren! Chaa, Cheeeps! Bombacloth.”
Needless to say, Peter could not contain himself and almost fell off the milk crate, nearly choking while sipping his coffee.
This gentleman was so determined and forceful, even Peter began to wonder if he went to high school in Jamaica and forgot about it and could not even dare to reveal his identity at that moment.
Gus, on the other hand, after the customer left, turned to Peter and said, “What on earth he was talking about?”
The closest translation is as follows:
Man, why are you continually asking?
What do you know about Goudas?
Yes Man, I know Goudas from before coming to Canada. Him and I are friends.
Myself and him were very close friends back in high school. Bombo (Bad word) I am paying respect to my friend. You know, just total up my purchases, man, there is no other rice for me.
Hail to Selassi (King of Ethiopia), I am Rastafarian! Ok man. You rat, (bad word) You want me to betray by friend! Cheeeps, (sounds of lips smackng.)
If you did not laugh after reading this article, we do not blame you.
However, you may ask a Jamaican friend to read and explain it to you.
Maybe then you will see the humor in its glory.
By the time the million copies of this biography are distributed and read, Mr. Goudas believes that everyone will be professional in pronouncing the “Cheeeps” sound by consulting their Jamaican friends.
From now on we do not call the sound “Cheeeps”, we call it the Goudas sound.
We hope you enjoyed this article.
The words, Rastafari and Selassi, are mentioned. Mr. Goudas would like to explain them to you.
You may have seen some men with long locks of hair called dreadlocks or, as for example, Bob Marley look-a-likes.
Mr. Goudas states that if you do not know who Bob Marley is, then he knows you are from a different planet!
They are Rastafarians and Mr. Goudas has been acquainted with them since the early 1970’s through his famous 813 Club, or when he produced
The Saturday Night Musical Recipe, on CHIR 790 AM Radio Station.
Bob Marley’s Music was always a favourite with the listeners.
This genre of music, referred to as Reggae Music, is in a class of its own.
Selassi, was the Emperor of Ethopia from 1930 to 1974, and the proper way to address him is, His Royal Highness, Emperor, Haile Selassie I.
He is worshipped by the followers of the Rastafarian movement which emerged in Jamaica in the 1930’s under Marcus Garvey.
The word Ras means head in Ethopian and Tafari is the given name of Emperor Selassie.
(He is also referred to as The Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings, Jah and Jah Rastafari.)
It should be clearly noted that not all Jamaicans are Rastafarians.
It is only a particular sector of the island’s population that believe in this culture.
To them it is a way of life and has been accepted, not only by fellow Jamaicans, but the mainstream, including the visitors to this wonderrful Caribbean island.
Spyros Peter Goudas recalled during his DJ days at the 813 Club, that the Rastafarians enjoyed a particular type of tobacco which emitted a very distinct aroma. Since it was an upscale club with an international clientele, he asked them to smoke outside and let the whole world enjoy the aroma, not only the patrons of the club.
When Mr. Goudas donated to the Pakistan Flood Relief Organization in 2010, the head of this organization told Mr. Goudas that just in case St. Peter is not at the front of the Gates of Paradise and instead there is a guy in a turban, simply mention that you are Mr. Goudas, and they will let you in!
In this case, if I end at a another door and the guy at the Gates has dreadlocks, I know, with my Jamaican patios, I will reveal my name and be pretty sure, he will let me in, too!
In this picture, you can see a Rastafarian lady friend of Mr. Goudas, where she was uncovering her long dreadlocks to show Mr. Goudas, how long it has grown since they last met.
Spyros Peter Goudas
Σπύρος Πήτερ Γούδας
Photo of Spyros Peter Goudas and Gus Kostas Patiniotis in 2009
Please Note: Salt is used as an ingredient in many recipes from all over the world, however, in this website, we have mentioned the ingredient salt, in the following recipes