Sure, most people tend to recognize only the most famous cuisines. You have people who love Italian cuisine Chinese dishes, Japanese food, and many others.
But have you tried Caribbean cuisine yet? It’s basically a fusion of numerous culinary traditions. The influences come from West African, Cajun, and Creole, along with Amerindian, Latin American, and European. There are also elements of Middle Eastern, Indian, and Chinese cuisine.
To help you get started in tryout out Caribbean cuisine, here are some iconic dishes that best exemplify the food of the region. Sure, you can always visit a Bahama Breeze location and enjoy some Caribbean-inspired dishes (view Bahama Breeze menu prices). But the best way to try these dishes is to fly yourself to the region, and try these dishes there!
Conch Fritters from the Bahamas
A conch is basically a sea mollusk related to the snail, except it has a large shell. It can be found all over the Caribbean region, but the people of the Bahamas really care for it. And the best way to eat conch is to try the conch fritters.
It’s made with shredded conch meat, with the patties made from a batter that also has bell pepper, onion, chili, spices, and/or celery. There are many different recipes, actually, depending on the restaurant or Bahamas home you visit. It’s then deep-fried, and you basically have something that looks like a yummy crabcake.
Crab & Callaloo from Trinidad & Tobago
Now we’re at this dual country near Venezuela, and it’s a mecca for Creole cuisine. When you come here, you have to try this crab & callaloo dish, which comes from West Africa. Callaloo is a local leafy green that resembles a spinach, which they then blend with spices, coconut milk, and chilis. Sometimes they also add red meat and okra, before they top things off with the crab.
Coucou and Flying Fish from Barbados
Some people call this island in the West Indies “The Land of the Flying Fish”, and this national dish lets you get a taste. They steam and cook the flying fish (which they can easily find around the waters of their island nation) with veggies, spices, lime juice, and onions. Then they serve the whole thing over a bed of potenta-like oatmeal. In some cases, they fry the fish and ingredients and then serve the dish with a spicy sauce,
So, what’s “Coucou”? That’s actually an informal French exclamation, which roughly means “hello”. That means the dish name means “Hello and Flying Fish”!
Mofongo from Puerto Rico
This is unlike anything else you might have tried in these islands. Mofongo is flavorful and hearty, and offers a combination of textures and flavors that just reminds you of Puerto Rico.
It starts with mashed fried green plantains, which they then flavor with garlic and pork rinds. Traditionally, they create this dish using a pilón (wooden mortar and pestle).
This can work as your side dish, but it can be your main dish as well. You can add meat, veggies, or even chicken broth too.
Fungee and Pepperpot from Antigua and Barbuda
This is a country of 2 islands, famous for the unspoiled beaches, green hills, and relaxed lifestyle. They also offer their unique and fragrant fungee and pepperpot. It is cornmeal cooked with okra, and then served with a rich stew made with veggies, spinach, onion, spices, and meat (usually salted beef and pig tail).
Creole Bread from St. Lucia
You may want to have a time-out from your low-carb diet, when you’re in St. Lucia. That way, you can always visit the bakeries in this romantic Caribbean hideaway so you can feast on the local Creole bread. The loaves have a soft crust, and they shape the bread like short and skinny baguettes. Then they cook the bread in a wood-fired oven, which gives the bread that yummy taste with the subtle hint of smoky flavor.
Just visit the bakery early in the morning, and try it when it’s still steaming hot!
La Bandera from the Dominican Republic
If you ever visit several restaurants in the Dominican Republic, you might realize that every menu includes the item known as la bandera. The literal meaning of the name is “the flag” and it’s a great symbol of the country as well.
This is a hearty lunch for the working class, and it sure is colorful. It’s made with rice, meat, red beans, and salad, and this dish can give you the energy you need to really explore this gorgeous island nation. To really enjoy la bandera, you should order it with tostones (fried green plantains) on the side.
So, try out these dishes, and enjoy. With these tasty treats and the beautiful locations, you’re sure to have a great time!