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The sea, sun and sand make the Caribbean a popular tourist destination. But aside from the beautiful weather, the amazing landscape and the total Caribbean experience, Caribbean food is unique and appetizing. There is just something about that great spicy Caribbean flavor!
Caribbean food is not like food from any other part of the world. The Italians have their pasta, the French their pastries, wine and rich cuisines, the English their ‘bangers and mash’ and China has its egg rolls, but the Caribbean has its own unique spicy Island taste that many people appreciate. A lot of Caribbean food involves highly spiced cuisine that titillates the tongue and palate.
The Caribbean consists of many islands that each have their own specialties. Central America, with Mexico, Costa Rico, and Panama can also be considered part of the Caribbean, at least when it comes to tourism and cooking, because they have coasts that border on the Caribbean Sea. Central America, because of its connection with North and South America, has its own style of food as well.
Many popular Caribbean food dishes involve ‘hot’ spices and ingredients, often in the form of curry and hot peppers. Jamaican cuisine offers curry chicken, lamb, beef and goat, as well as meats infused with ‘jerk’ seasonings, making it hot, spicy and delicious. If you can stand up to the heat in the cooking, you can be in for quite a tasty treat when you sample Jamaican cuisine. Jamaica has its own unique variety of fruits and vegetables as well, such as callaloo (something akin to spinach), Ackee (which is part of Jamaica’s national dish of Saltfish ‘n Ackee), and some weird sounding fruit like ‘ugly fruit’, ‘star apple’ and ‘jack fruit’. One of Jamaica’s most popular foods that has made its mark in the United States and Canada is Jamaican Patties, a spicy meat pie with a flaky crust.
Other Caribbean Islands have their own unique and tasty dishes as well. Caribbean food dishes like conch fritters, coconut mango chicken, Arroz Con Pollo (a Spanish-style rice and chicken dish), Paella, and Red Pea Soup, arising from different Caribbean Islands, along with dishes coming from Mexico like empanadas, burritos and enchiladas are all part of that great Caribbean taste experience. In Mexico, hot chili peppers are often part of the ingredients in many of their signature dishes.
As one might expect, Caribbean food often incorporates seafood into its cuisine. You can find many Caribbean recipes that include many types of fish or shellfish, such as cod fish, mackerel, grouper, lobster, crab, or even a combination of fish and shell fish as in a Boatman’s Stew, a Paella dish or a seafood chowder.
Whatever island you choose for creating a Caribbean food experience, you won’t go wrong when it comes to taste and flavor. In the Caribbean, the weather is heated up by the spicy offerings of the Caribbean food. From Cuba, to Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands to Mexico, Panama and Costa Rico, Caribbean food is something everyone will enjoy.
write by Balbino Carranza