Caribbean Cuisine
A Melting Pot of Many Cultures

Master the exotic tastes of Caribbean Cuisine with my tour of different foods of the Caribbean.

I will show you the different tastes by islands so you go back home revitalized and ready to make new dishes.

Cuban Arroz con Pollo is the typical Sunday dish

Cuban Arroz con Pollo is the typical Sunday dish

Melange of many Cultures

Caribbean Food is a melting pot of cultures that have left their mark on the area. The Caribbean Islands were originally inhabited by the local West Indians, the Carib and Arawaks, on the Eastern Islands and the Tainos, and Siboneys on the Island of Cuba, Hispaniola and Borinquen which is today’s Puerto Rico.

Withe arrival of the Europeans, Spaniards, French, British and Dutch the local cuisine was changing to adopt their colonizers' tastes.

Callallou is the typical dish of Trinidad and Tobago

Callallou is the typical dish of Trinidad and Tobago

The colonizers brought many new products to the New World

Each of the European colonizers brought with them certain foods not known to the natives. The Spaniards brought onions, garlic, chick peas, cilantro and eggplant.

And above all they introduced the sugar cane. It was later discovered, that when fermented it produced the Rum.

Until now it remains the number one alcohol based beverage in the Caribbean. The British, French, Portuguese and Dutch introduced the oranges, mangoes, rice and coffee.

Caribbean Cuisine

The typical Puerto Rico Alcapurrias

The typical Puerto Rico Alcapurrias

The African Slaves also brought their share

The West Africans brought okra, pigeon peas, plantains and callaloo. Countries of former British domination have also some influence of the Hindu and Chinese cuisine.

This can be experienced in Trinidad and Tobago. Geography has played an important role in the food the locals enjoy.

Places like Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba with their profound Spanish Heritage is very different than let’s say Jamaica, which was once a center for the Slavery Trade and therefore has a great African Influence.

Martinique Island and Guadeloupe Island, being French have a great similarity to the French Cuisine and you’ll find there, and in the sister islands of St Martin and St Barth the best French restaurants you wouldn't imagine existed there.

Jerk Chicken a typical dish of Jamaica

Jerk Chicken a typical dish of Jamaica

The famous Jamaican Jerk

A typical Caribbean dish that has transcended the borders of the area is the “Jerk”. This a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meats, pork, chicken or fish are rubbed with a very spicy mixture called Jamaican Jerk Spice, relying mostly on Jamaican Pimento and the Scotch Bonnet Peppers.

They are very hot; don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. To be on the safe side I decided for the Jerk Chicken.

Restaurant in St Martin the Gastronomical Capital of the Caribbean

Restaurant in St Martin the Gastronomical Capital of the Caribbean

Above all lots of Seafood

But let’s not forget where we are. We are in an area of Sea and beaches and more beaches and more sea. So, what comes to mind? The answer is fish and all kinds of seafood.

It depends on which island you are, they are prepared differently but I can assure you that all taste delicious. For example, Fish and Seafood is an integral part of Puerto Rico Cuisine. To summarize, Caribbean Cuisine is so varied that you will have to spend months Island Hopping to try and taste all of them.

In the meantime, enjoy the recipes and get ready for your Caribbean Vacations, you will enjoy to the fullest the variety of Caribbean Cuisine.

Flying Fish and Cou Cou typical dish of Barbados

Flying Fish and Cou Cou typical dish of Barbados

For more information visit this blog on Caribbean Food

images are courtesy of wikimedia commons

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Eddy Tuchman

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