Belize: The Garifuna Culture and Foods

Belize is a small country but ethnically diverse and culturally rich. Belize culture reflects the peaceful harmony between the various ethnic groups such as the Mayas, Creoles, Mennonites, Mestizos and Garifuna. And, Garifunas are a perfect example of a community devoted to their roots and who have successfully kept their culture alive by retaining many rituals and traditions from their rich Afro-Carribean heritage, having their own language, food, crafts, music and religion. READ MORE


Tradional Garifuna foods are based on coconut milk, garlic, basil, black pepper, plantain, bananas, chicken and fish. Fish boiled in coconut milk, called “serre”, served with mashed plantain called “hudut”, is a delicious rich meal. Cassava (manioc) is also a famous part of Garifuna cuisine. Cassava is made into bread, drink, pudding and even wine. Cassava bread is served with all meals and is made in an ancient and time-consuming process that takes several days. Read More.


See Recipe for Belizean BBQ Fish:

Fish Serre (Garifuna Dish)

  • Boil salt beef in 2 cups water until tender
  • Clean fish, wash with lime juice or vinegar.
  • Cut each fish in serving pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grate coconut.
  • Add 2 cups water and squeeze to get thick milk. (Set aside) 5

Prepare vegetables. (Cover and set aside)  Put milk in sauce pan. Stir constantly until milk reaches boiling point. Add salt meat, onion, plantain or bananas. Cook until tender.  Add carrots and fish. Simmer until fish is tender. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot with white rice.

Photo from Belize Public Relations Productiosn

This recipe found at:

Young Hollywood Talks Holiday Cultural Traditions

While at the First Star event, MCCN recently got a chance to ask Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Camp Rock) of Filipino descent and Arlen Escarpeta of Belizean descent about what foods would likely make it their holiday tables. They also told us about their favorite foods aside from home cooking.

Perez de Tagle says she can expect to have lumpia and sweet spaghetti on the holiday table and her favorite place to eat in LA is Katsuya. As for other ethnic foods, she enjoys Japanese, Indian, and Mediterranean.  In general she likes to try things.

Before we jumped into dinner talk, Escarpeta, shared that he has been working with First Star for five years since his days on “American Dreams” and although, no longer on the show he continues to support the child advocacy mission. He is originally from Belize and came to LA as a young boy. He shares that with a mother from Belize and a Jamaican stepfather, the table will be bound to have cultural variety. His favorite Belizean dish is stew beans and white rice with brown stew chicken which he expects to be on the holiday table and some Jamaican ackee and saltfish.

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