6 Caribbean Food Specialties in the Caribbean Islands
Do you love to eat? Do you pride yourself as a connoisseur? Would you want to introduce exotic and incredible Caribbean and Spanish cuisine to your taste buds? Then, read on and find out 6 Caribbean Food Specialties in the Caribbean Islands that welcome gourmet eaters and food journalists with red carpet.
The second most important component of a holiday trip to distant lands, islands, and islets, and game parks is the food. The foremost component is lodging.
During the time of planning our vacation, our research would certainly include finding the best places to eat in our destination. We would be interested in trying out unique dishes that are local specialties.
Once we are armed with our findings, we would start looking forward to our trip.
Caribbean Islands are the favorites of thousands of holidaymakers. They are lured to visit at least a dozen different Caribbean Islands with offers of attractive discount in hotels and restaurants.
Puerto Rico, The Most Popular Caribbean Islands
I know you are raising your eyebrows wondering why Puerto Rico is placed on top. I have my reasons, buddy! When you have finished reading, you would nod in agreement with my choice.
Puerto Rico may not be highly popular among other Caribbean Islands but certainly, their local cuisine called ‘cocina criolla’ is very famous. It is so much so that their cuisine reached various parts of North America and that may be the reason people are not too eager to visit Puerto Rico just to eat.
As a holidaymaker, Puerto Rico would impress you with green-rich rainforests, gorgeous and hidden waterfalls, and rugged mountains that offer stunning views.
What to eat in Puerto Rico, Caribbean Islands?
Assuming that you would land in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, I am giving you some guidance as to what to eat in Puerto Rico.
Mofongo is an out and out Puerto Rican dish. It is made of raw banana that is made into a mashed up dish and served with bacon and chicken stew.
- Pig Roast called ‘lechón’
Ah, this is a fritter resembling Indian cuisine. The outer shell of the fritter is made of corn flour. For stuffing, green banana and pounded beef meat are used. This would make a wonderful snack in the evening. It goes well with drinks in bars.
This Caribbean Islands specialty is pig’s leg and or shoulder that is marinated for long hours with local spices and cooked slowly in the street corner by the locals.
- Arroz con gandules
This is the national dish of the Caribbean Island, Puerto Rico.
I could see rice as the basic ingredient. It also contains pork and a legume called ‘pigeon pea’.
Arroz con gandules is widely eaten in Puerto Rico and is a staple food.
Well, that sums the food varieties to eat in the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico.
2. Anguilla, The Culinary Capital of Caribbean Islands
Anguilla though located in the Caribbean area belongs to the ubiquitous British. Yes, it is a British Overseas Territory. The British have several such overseas territories in various oceans including the South Pacific.
Well, coming to the food scene in this Caribbean Island, seafood is eaten in boatloads. The islanders’ most beloved food is spiny lobster and salted cod.
Along with its erstwhile neighboring island St.Martin, Anguilla Island has earned a prestigious name “culinary capital of the Caribbean’.
The Caribbeans are too fond of open cooking, especially by the beach side. The heady aroma of spicy Caribbean food is gently carried away by the sea breeze, inviting even a casual bystander to the scene of cooking.
Apart from barbeque style street food stalls, Anguilla has about 100 restaurants. They are staffed with highly skilled chefs who are adept in cooking up various cuisines that include English and African too.
Anguillian food has traces of French cuisine too. For a change, you forget about the spiny lobster and ask for the conch-based dish. It would be a unique eating experience, eating conch I mean.
When you have had enough of seafood and when you start craving for red meat, goat fry will be a good option.
How about eating a dolphin?
The name of the dolphin is ‘mahi-mahi’ in Anguilla. I think it is served widely in Anguillian restaurants.
Let us now move on to the third Caribbean Island that the connoisseurs haunt.
3. Dominica Island, Caribbean
The Caribbean Island of Dominica is a very beautiful island blessed with extraordinary geography, natural geysers and of course, the inimitable rainforests. I read there is even a ‘Boiling Lake’ in Dominica.
Due to its possession of plenty of naturally beautiful attractions, tourists from various parts of America visit Dominica Island. In addition, the food of Dominica pulls even a poor eater. There are excellent local specialties in the restaurants and street food stalls.
Though the Dominican cuisine is similar to the cuisine of other Caribbean Islands, the fruits and vegetables that accompany various dishes are supposed to be farm fresh. I believe the meat used is also freshly cut or freshly caught, as the case may be.
The not-to-be-missed local specialty food in Dominica Island is the ‘flying fish’ fry. It is eaten with great relish by the Caribbeans. The dish is served generously with pumpkin rice.
I gathered the natives of Dominica are fond of eating a kingly breakfast that comprises dried and salted codfish. This style of eating dried fish in the morning must have arrived from India.
Know the names of some of the local specialty food of Dominica Island in the Caribbean:
- Sorrel-a fruit punch
- Manicou meat-made of an animal called Manicou
- Cod sandwich
- Dumplings stuffed with crab curry
4. St.Barts Island, Caribbean
Not many people are aware of St.Bart’s Island’s full name; it is Saint Barthelemy.
Yeah, you guessed it right! It is a French name and as such, the majority of the citizens of St.Barts speak French.
Naturally, they love French cuisine more than the local West Indian cuisine that has now embraced several other nations’ cuisines such as Indian and Italian.
Gastronomes love to go to St.Barts frequently to replenish their taste buds. I am not surprised at all. Once you have tasted the foods in various Caribbean Islands, all other foods would taste bland to you. The spicy aroma, the herbs and the smell of freshly caught fish and shrimps are seductive.
Another reason for the connoisseurs of the world to visit St.Barts Island in the Caribbean is the gastronomic events organized by the island’s local authorities. There are several such functions in St.Barts that would not keep the gourmet eaters in their home.
Which food is famous in St.Barts Island?
Accras is the unique food in St.Barts. It is a fritter stuffed with codfish. You usually dip the fritter in tomato ketchup and bite into the succulent snack.
Mahi Mahi is also loved by the local residents of St.Barts.
5. Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean
Are you coming across the name of this Caribbean archipelago for the first time? The majority of us might not have heard of these 40+ coral islands on the Caribbean, located south of Bahamas.
These Caribbean Islands belong to the British Overseas Territory. The most important island of Turks and Caicos archipelago is Providenciales, shortly called ‘Provo’. In order to visit other islands of this archipelago, Provo is your base and gateway.
Conch is the most eaten seafood in Turks and Caicos. The Conch salad is a must-try food.
Another conch dish is the conch fritters. This is a deep fried snack stuffed with conch inside. This style of cooking is Indian.
Foodies can seriously think of visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean as conch-based dishes are rare in the world.
6. Cayman Islands of Caribbean
The Cayman Islands located in the Caribbean region is bookmarked destination by the gastronomes. They love the islands’ seafood.
Conch stew is the specialty of Cayman Islands. This is a breakfast item. One aspect of Caribbean cuisine is its diversity. Accepting the evolution of contemporary food preferences, the Caribbeans have willingly embraced other delectable cuisines of the world that include Indian, Spanish, and French. Even Arabic style foods have found their way into the Caribbean kitchens.
Lobsters are abundant in the Caribbean Sea. The Caymans have started preparing lobsters tails in their own way with coconut being predominantly used.
Other special foods of Cayman Islands are:
- Ackee & Saltfish-a kind of fruit salad that also contains salted codfish, pepper, and tomato. What a combination! I read the Ackee & Saltfish is the Jamaican national dish.
- Conch Stew
- Conch fritters
- Jerk chicken
Yes, the chicken looks very different from the usual fried chicken that you eat in a Spanish restaurant. This jerk chicken is certainly a Caribbean gourmet food available in most of the Caribbean Islands.