Also known as West Indian cuisine, Caribbean dishes or Caribbean food is the perfect combination of the cuisine of the West African region, Creole, Cajun, Amerindian, European, Latin American, Indian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese. Having said this, it brings us to a question.
Despite being region specific, how does Caribbean cuisine borrow influence from other geographical locations? It is interesting to note these traditions were brought from many different countries when they came to the Caribbean dishes.
In addition to this, the native population of the Caribbean region has created styles that are unique to the place.
History of Caribbean cuisine
The perfect blend of unique spices, fresh herbs, and fish caught on the very same day, this is the magic of Caribbean food.
It is a delightful fusion of European, African, and Cajun. Caribbean cuisine (or West Indies) is a winning mix of many different cultures. The history of Caribbean food is as exciting and unique as the region itself and is interlinked with the region.
Going by the historical records, the Arawak, Carib, and Taino Indians were the first dwellers to set foot in the Caribbean Islands.
There is no doubt that the first settlers brought with them something that even today reflects in Caribbean food. So much so that the best Caribbean dishes are incomplete without the culinary influence of the primitive Caribbean settlers.
What are the best Caribbean dishes made of
The daily diet of an average Caribbean consists of vegetables and fruits such as papaya, yams, guavas, and cassava. The Taino take the credit for starting the process of preparing meat and fish in large clay pots.
The Carib Indians were responsible for introducing spices and lemon juice to their meat and fish recipes. Overall, the favorite and most cherished Caribbean food is seasoned jerk chicken.
Talk about the best Caribbean dishes, and this one is evergreen.
International cuisine has an impact on Caribbean food
Did you know that Caribbean food and cuisine consists of culinary influences from Africa, France, Spain, India, Dutch, America, Britain, and Asia? For instance, the Chinese introduced rice and mustard.
The early Portuguese sailors take the credit for adding the famous codfish. Spain introduced fruit trees like orange, ginger, plantains, figs, date palms, sugar cane, grapes, tamarinds, and coconuts.
Americas on the other hand, introduced beans, corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and chili pepper.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that chicken, goat, and curry are favorite foods throughout the English-influenced areas of the Caribbean.
On the other hand, French cuisine is still prevalent in the French-influenced areas of the Caribbean.
Also, people living in the Spanish-influenced regions of the Caribbean eat a lot of spicy and flavored foods.
Seafood accounts for the best Caribbean dishes
Seafood is prevalent in the Caribbean as well. Each Caribbean nation usually has a unique seafood cuisine. Sharks, fish, lobster, and conch are familiar favorite dishes in different regions.
Caribbean food is incomplete without rice
Rice is a staple food throughout the Caribbean. So much so that each island has a particular rice dish. On some islands, rice is seasoned or served with coconut.
Yellow and brown rice is paired and served as a side with Caribbean food.
Beans are another Caribbean food delight
In addition to rice, beans are a favorite food throughout the Caribbean. In Cuba, beans appear in many dishes. Beans are cooked and served in a variety of ways depending on the country.
Mouth-watering Caribbean food you need to try!
When in the magical Caribbean land or if you crave West Indian food, you can order Caribbean food online and enjoy the best meal all by yourself or with your near and dear ones.
Here’s our recommendation for a few must-try dishes.
If you love something salty and seafood, then just the name of this dish will get your mouth watering. Saltfish is made from cod, snapper, or pollock.
It involves preserving the fish by salt-curing it and dehydrating the water. Once ready to be feasted upon, the preserved saltfish is typically soaked in water overnight to remove most of the salt. Not all of it, as it gives the fish a flavorful taste.
The next step is to mix the saltfish with rice and veggies or turned into fritters. Saltfish is most commonly seen on the menu in Jamaica as it is the national dish. It is often mixed with ackee fruit and served.
In love with the Jamaican jerk chicken? You do not have to visit the region to feast on it. This popular dish is also famous in restaurants that serve Caribbean food.
Those who order Caribbean food online place repeat orders for Jerk Chicken.
This spicy chicken dish is made by rubbing the chicken in a spice mixture that is made with a combination of ingredients like cayenne pepper, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, and cloves.
The jerk rub is more than just popular such that it is also used on other types of meat as it lends a spice-infused entrée.
Sada roti is a kind of flatbread made from white flour that is often paired with and consumed along with vegetables or meat-based meals in the Caribbean.
It is common to spread a generous amount of butter or jam on it and feast on it for a snack between meals.
When touring the Caribbean, you will be surprised to discover variations of the sada roti that you come across in the length and breadth of the region.
Goat is not the type of meat you’re used to seeing on a menu, but in the Caribbean, a goat often finds its way into local dishes.
The most common of them is goat stew. This Caribbean food is mixed with vegetables and lime.
Thanks to the addition of curry flavoring, the goat stew is regarded as one of the best Caribbean dishes and gets an extra spicy kick.
Key Lime Pie
Suppose you are on a desert trail while in the Caribbean the key lime pie is what you must try.
Highly recommended for those with a sweet tooth, this dessert will bowl you over.
The reason why key lime pie is counted as one of the best Caribbean dishes is because of the geographical importance attached to it. At the very tip of the Caribbean Sea is the state of Florida.
On the state’s southern shores is Key West, a popular port of call for Caribbean cruises that embark from Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
Key West is known for its refreshing Key Lime Pie. This popular dessert is the perfect choice to beat the heat on a hot, sunny day.
Key Lime Pie is made from egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk that is mixed well with key lime juice and zest. The pie filling is served on a crunchy cracker crust topped with whipped cream.
We have shared our pick of mouth-watering Caribbean dishes that you must try—tempted to try any of them? When at home or work, you can order Caribbean food online.
Another way to experience the best Caribbean dishes and authentic Caribbean cuisines and flavors is to hop on to one of Celebrity Cruises’ and tour the port in the Caribbean by taking fun and informative shore excursions.
Some food for thought!
Food served in the Caribbean islands has been influenced by the world’s cultures. Along with this, each island adds its unique flavor and culinary techniques.
Caribbean food is more than just famous because of its many influences from many staple foods of the world.
Best Caribbean Cuisines That You Must Try
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