Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Amerindian, European, East Indian, Arab and Chinese cuisine. These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region’s population. In addition, the population has created styles that are unique to the region.
Traditional dishes are so important to regional culture that, for example, the local version of Caribbean goat stew has been chosen as the official national dish of Montserrat and is also one of the signature dishes of St. Kitts and Nevis. Another popular dish in the Anglophone Caribbean is called “Cook-up”, or Pelau.
Jamaica -Ackee and Salt Fish is another popular dish that is unique to Jamaica. Callaloo is a dish containing leafy vegetables and sometimes okra amongst others, widely distributed in the Caribbean, with a distinctively mixed African and indigenous character. Ingredients which are common in most islands’ dishes are rice,plantains, beans, cassava, cilantro, bell peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, coconut, and any of various meats that are locally available (beef, poultry, pork or fish) as well as curries.
Although Puerto Rican cooking is somewhat similar to both Spanish, Cuban and Mexican cuisine, it is a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using such indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains, and yampee. Locals call their cuisine “cocina criolla”.
Cuba– As a result of the colonization of Cuba by Spain, one of the main influences on the cuisine is from Spain. Along with Spain, other culinary influences include Africa, from the Africans that were brought to Cuba as slaves, and Dutch, from the French colonists that came to Cuba from Haiti. Another important factor is that Cuba itself is an island, making seafood something that greatly influences Cuban cuisine. Another contributing factor to Cuban cuisine is the fact that Cuba is in a tropical climate. The tropical climate produces fruits and root vegetables that are used in Cuban dishes and meals.
A typical meal would consist of rice and beans, cooked together or apart. When cooked together the recipe is called either “Congri” or “Moros” or “Moros y Cristianos” (black beans and rice). If cooked separately it is called “Arroz con/y Frijoles” (rice with/and beans.
The variety of dessert dishes in the area also reflects the mixed origins of the recipes. In some areas, Black Cake, a derivative of English Christmas pudding may be served, especially on special occasions in Trinidad and other Caribbean countries.
Countries of the Caribbean