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10 Foods to Try in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is a crossroads of cultures. The cultures of Africans, Europeans, Indians and the original indigenous inhabitants of the region have created a melting pot in the Caribbean, where cultures influence other cultures to produce entirely new creations.

One cultural creation that every visitor can experience in the Caribbean is food. How many of these foods have you had a chance to try?

1. Jerk

Jerk is the quintessential food of the Caribbean. Meat such as chicken, beef and pork is saturated in hot peppers and spices to keep it tender and make it fiery hot. Especially popular in Tobago, Barbados, Trinidad, and, of course course, Jamaica, Jerk is frequently seasoned with garlic, onions, peppers, allspice, and thyme. To make the meat sweet, it is often seasoned with molasses.

The best place to find it it is at a roadside stand, known as a Lolo here on Grand Case.

2. Roast Pork

Another food that is ubiquitous across the Caribbean, roast pork is especially identified with islands with a strong Spanish heritage such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

Roast pork is often served with other regional staples like such  rice and beans plus plantains. Succulent and juicy, pork drippings give everything on the plate a rich flavour.

3. Pepperpot

Simmered in huge pots across the Caribbean, this thick and rich stew can include aubergine, okra, squash, potatoes and pretty much anything else that can be grown.

Beef is the most common meat, while tasty cornmeal dumplings known as fungi can add texture.

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4. Conch

The name “conch” covers the many different kinds of large sea snails that are common across the Caribbean. Tasting something like clam, the meat makes fabulous fritters, which are a staple in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Conch also appears in salads, soups and stews.

Be sure to order farm-raised conch, which is the most sustainable.

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5. Chicken With Rice

Still craved by locals even decades after they’ve emigrated, chicken with rice is the ultimate comfort food across the islands. Yet another food that is popular on islands where Spanish influences remain strong, this deceptively simple dish is a savoury mix of flavors that include tomatoes, garlic, peppers and more.

chicken and rice

6. Goat Water

“Goat water” is the national dish of Montserrat. Dubbed the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” for its close ties to Irish heritage, Montserrat’s goat water provides a faint taste of Ireland on the other side of the world.

The dish is a riff on Irish stew, using goat in place of mutton.

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7. Callaloo

Callaloo, a spinach-like green that can be found canned or fresh in Caribbean groceries. Leafy greens are boiled into a thick stew, which may include peppers, coconut milk and okra, as well as meat and seafood.

Serve with minced fresh Scotch bonnet chiles sprinkled on top for extra heat.

8. Papaya

This tasty fruit staple grows wild and on farms almost everywhere. It comes in yellow and orange varieties and when perfectly fresh is served plain with a squeeze of lime for a sweet and luscious breakfast.

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9. Roti

Roti is an example of a Caribbean dish with Indian influence. Made from wrapping a piece of flat bread around vegetables or meat, Roti is another beloved comfort food.

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10. French Cuisine

It may seem amazing, but you can also experience authentic French cuisine in the Caribbean, especially at the Sunset Cafe here in Grand Case!

sunset café grand case beach club st. martin

In the evening, sip a crisp glass of Sancerre and sample French classics such as grouper en papillotte (oven-baked in parchment paper) or moules (mussels) frîtes.