What to Eat in the Caribbean: Famous Caribbean Foods

by Cristina on May 1, 2012

by Cristina | May 1st, 2012  

Not so long ago, the locals considered that the native Caribbean food wasn’t good enough and not interesting enough for the hoards of tourists, so they offered French food instead. But, after constant demand for traditional fare, a variety of hotel and restaurants now offer local cuisine for the visitors.

Conch chowder

This dish can be enjoyed on many Caribbean islands. The conch is a food icon in the area and was widely enjoyed but now the prices have soared (due to limited availability).

Jerk Chicken (or Pork)

This dish is usually associated with Jamaica. The meat is marinated for days in a herb-and-spice mixture and then is usually grilled. Spicy jerk chicken is probably the best well known Caribbean dish.

Callaloo and fungi

It is a dish you’ll find in the US Virgin Islands and resembles the southern “greens and grits”. Callaloo will remind you of spinach and fungi are not mushrooms; it’s a cornmeal concoction. You’ll either love or hate this dish.

Keshi Yena

This dish is native to Aruba and is popular especially around Christmas. It’s basically a wheel of Gouda cheese in which a spicy meat mixture of either chicken or beef is added. Then everything is baked.

Rice and Beans/Peas

This dish is served on many islands and is a side dish for entrees. You’ll probably find it at its best in Jamaica and Puerto Rico. You can order the dish with sweet plantains (which are similar to bananas , but you can only eat them cooked).

And by the way, peas and beans mean exactly the same thing and refer to red kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, pigeon peas and yellow and green lentils.

Curry Goat

You can find this dish in Jamaica. Many restaurants use the meat of mature goats so the taste is stronger but butter restaurants use the tender young animal meat, with a more subtle flavor.

Ackee and salt fish

It is the national dish of Jamaica. Ackee is a fruit but the locals use it like a vegetable. It needs to be eaten when it turns ripe, otherwise the seeds are poisonous. Salt fish is most often cod cured in salt, but can refer to absolutely any salted fish. The dish looks like scrambled eggs and is eaten for breakfast.

Roti

Roti is a pancake or wrap , filled with various foods, including: shrimp, chicken and chick peas. This food is famous in Trinidad and was brought to the Caribbean by the East Indian contract laborers.

Flying fish sandwich

You can find this dish in Barbados. It is made with a small fish, which is fried and then hot sauce is added.

Photo credits: Conch chowder , Jerk Chicken , Callaloo , Rice and Beans , Curry Goat , Ackee , Roti , Fish sandwich


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