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Island Eats: A Food Lover's Guide to the Caribbean

From Jamaica to Cuba, each island has unique culinary treasures. Here's an island-to-island list of some must-try dishes from around the Caribbean.


Jamaica:

Ah, Jamaica! A popular destination for those seeking everything from relaxation and romance to adventure. No matter why you find yourself in Jamaica, you cannot miss out on the local cuisine!

  • Jerk Chicken: Jamaica's signature dish is a marinated chicken cooked over an open fire. The flavors of the jerk seasoning come with a nice kick and leave you wanting more!

  • Ackee and Saltfish: This traditional Jamaican dish is made with ackee fruit and salted cod fish and served for breakfast or lunch.


Aruba:

Affectionately known as One Happy Island, Aruba is a dream destination. And one of the best things about it.. You're encouraged to leave the resort to fully experience the people, the culture, and of course, the FOOD.

  • Deep Fried Red Snapper: You have to head to a local restaurant to experience this masterpiece. The Red Snapper is lightly battered, deep fried to perfection, and served with a side of fries.

  • Keshi Yena: A traditional dish from Aruba made with chicken (or beef) stuffed in Edam cheese and covered with a spicy tomato sauce. It's truly unique flavor will have your taste buds begging for more!

Cuba:

One of the largest of the Caribbean islands, Cuba is home to an amazingly unique culture. From salsa music to classic cars, this is one place you don't want to miss. And with a history of Spanish influence, Cuban cuisine has some truly delicious dishes!

  • Ropa Vieja: A Cuban staple dish made with shredded beef cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice and beans.

  • Guava Basted Ribs: Cubans slow-cook their meat with a guava basting liquid resulting in some of the most delectable ribs you'll ever eat!

Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico is another fabulous vacation destination. Not only does it boast crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, but its local cuisine will leave you wanting more!

  • Mofongo: A Puerto Rican specialty made with mashed plantains, garlic, and chicharron. Its savory flavor will have your taste buds dancing!

  • Lechon Asado: Roasted pork marinated in bitter orange juice and spices. This juicy dish will likely become a favorite of yours if you're ever in Puerto Rico.

Antigua:

Antigua is a Caribbean paradise. Surrounded by the beauties of this beach destination, you're sure to find some true relaxation here. And with a strong British influence in their food, you'll be able to find some truly delicious meals!

  • Goat Water – Don't think too hard about the name. This dish is actually a hearty stew made with – you guessed it – goat meat, peppers, onions, herbs, and spices. This simple yet filling dish is a meal in a bowl.

  • Ducana: A specialty unique to Antigua, Ducana is a dumpling made from grated yam and sweet potato. It's deliciously sweet!

Dominican Republic:

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful island destination known for its affordability, ease of access, golf courses, and all-inclusive experiences. But don't miss out on the local cuisine while you're there!

  • Sancocho: A hearty stew made with chicken or beef, root vegetables, and many more ingredients. An incredibly comforting dish that's perfect for lunch or dinner.

  • Mangú: This is one of the most iconic dishes in the Dominican Republic. It's a simple yet delicious dish made from mashed plantains and topped with cheese, eggs, or other toppings as desired.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a stunning Caribbean destination with beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and rich culture. But you can't forget the food!

  • Bouyon: A hearty stew made with beef, pork, or chicken, root vegetables, sweet potato, and dumplings.

  • Callaloo: This traditional dish is typically served with saltfish, okra, and coconut milk. It's incredibly savory and flavorful!

Trinidad & Tobago:

Located near Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago is one of the Caribbean's most diverse islands. This former British colony has its own unique food culture and offers many delicious dishes to try.

  • Doubles: A popular street food snack made with two pieces of fried dough filled with curried chickpeas, tamarind sauce, and other toppings like cucumbers and chutney.

  • Pelau: A traditional Trinidadian dish made with rice and chicken (or beef ) cooked with coconut milk, onions, garlic, and seasonings. It's delicious!

Grenada:

Although it's not a destination that everyone buzzes about, Grenada offers some amazing landscapes, experiences, and of course, food!

  • Oil Down: A traditional dish made with salted cod, breadfruit, dumplings, and other veggies cooked in coconut milk.

  • Nutmeg Ice Cream: This unique dessert is flavored with nutmeg and served chilled. It's a must-try when visiting Grenada!

Turks & Caicos:

Turks & Caicos is one of the most popular Caribbean getaways for those seeking peace and tranquility. Here, you can enjoy the sun, sea, sand, and some delicious local dishes!

  • Conch Fritters: These deep-fried patties made with conch meat are full of flavor and make the perfect snack!

  • Johnny Cakes: A popular breakfast item made with flour, butter, and sugar. They are usually served warm and can be dipped in syrup or honey. Delicious!

While I don't have a crystal ball, I can clearly see amazing food in your future if you're heading to the Caribbean. Bon Appetite!


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I am a retired school administrator and I enjoy helping others. Well versed in the fun, relaxation and rigors that traveling can bring. I'm living my best life through travel and I want to help you to do the same. I will design and organize a stunning itinerary so that you will have a fantabulous and one of a kind vacation.

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