Well folks, we have some great news to share with all of you. The Cookhouse at Annaberg has reopened permanently. One more step forward!
For those of you unfamiliar with the Annaberg plantation, it was one of the island’s largest sugar producers in the 1700s and 1800s. It also produced molasses and rum for export. Today, the site is the largest area of intact sugar production ruins on the island. Annaberg sits within the National Park, and is open to the public.
The cookhouse, which sits in the plantation’s horse mill, was erected after sugar cultivation was abandoned in the last quarter of the 19th century. Cattle were raised in its place and the cookhouse was erected.
Now, every Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mrs. Sprauve is onsite baking bread inside the cookhouse. What makes the bread that Mrs. Sprauve is serving so unique, in my opinion, is the way that the bread is baked. She cooks the bread over a charcoal stove, and the charcoal is made onsite at nearby charcoal pit.
Mrs. Sprauve showed me how the charcoal is placed above and below the pan in which she is making the bread. The charcoal, I recently learned, takes about a week to produce.
The bread is offered to visitors for free, although donations are accepted.
So the next time you are on island, please be sure to stop by Annaberg and say hello to Mrs. Sprauve. And when you are there, be sure to walk over and visit Charles at the garden. He is one of the island’s most treasured residents. Please click here to read an article we wrote about Charles last summer.