Since we had no men with us, the job was delegated to Lina. "When they hear the pestle hitting the mortar in the community," she told me, "people pass by your house and say, 'Oh, you're making hudutu!' That's a special sound." While Lina mashed, Teo prepared the stew. She started with coconut. If this were another dish—if she were making the Garifuna's sweet coco bread, for instance, which requires the richest milk—she might have stopped at what they call "first water," squeezing the grated fruit with only a small amount of water so as not to dilute its aromatic compounds. But for the stew she soaked and strained the grated coconut repeatedly to extract the milk. To that she added cumin, allspice, and a sofrito, or flavor base, of diced and sauteed aromatics—garlic, bell peppers, basil, culantro, and oregano, all pulled from her garden. Then, into the pot went thick kingfish steaks marinated in lime. Along with the pounded plantains, the finished stew made a hefty meal. I mopped up the last, luxurious drops with a sleek, sweet-savory hunk of the plantain mash and thought of the man I had met the day before in Corozal. "After I finish hudutu," he had told me, "I go to sleep."