Carmo: Our Tropical Truth

The definition of "tropical" is "... of, being, or characteristic of a region or climate that is frost-free with temperatures high enough to support year-round plant growth given sufficient moisture."

While we realize that attempting to be a tropical restaurant is a little unorthodox, especially from a "marketing" or "branding" perspective (there's no "tropical" category in most listings), nonetheless, Carmo is a tropical restaurant. That's not in the "parrot-on-the-shoulder-and-an-eye-patch" sense, but more in the "most-of-the-food-on-the-world's-plate" disseminated from equatorial/torrid zones and the foodways therefrom helped to shape what we know collectively as human culture and history-sense.

The tropics are a place of infinite diversity and connections, side by side. Tropical regions are also the first place that the environmental damage we've perpetrated manifests itself. From the rising sea levels which pose an existential threat to thousands of islands and coastal regions like the Solomons, Palau, Fiji and Bangladesh, to the rapidly disappearing rainforests (just one of which provides a quarter of the Planet's oxygen, the Amazon) ... from a loss of species estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate to ancient crops which are no longer viable in their native settings. Witnessing the historic, sometimes subtle, sometimes not subtle at all changes to regions and their respective ecosystems which hold such vital importance to our survival is more than alarming, it constitutes a shared existential emergency on a global scale.

The food, culture and history of a region constitute its traditions, its “foodways,” and the people who produce and create it are the those with whom we acquaint ourselves, listen to, venerate and support. We look to the small producers, home cooks, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers and countless generations before them for whom these traditions are and have always been life-sustaining. They are the heroes of our food systems, those who store the living history of foodways in their genes, re-asserting the past with each seed planted, each harvest, with each dish prepared. We seek to share their narrative, to spread their stories so that they and their cultures endure. Finally, we aspire to prepare our food with that very same reverence for the original producers, ingredients, heritage, flavors and presentation, ultimately sharing it with those who value the same.

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