There’s better than a warm breeze on your face and soft sand at your feet… Except for these Caribbean island foods.
One of the best parts of being on vacation is the food and there’s no point in denying it. There’s some kind of magic in experiencing an exotic meal or tasting a fish dish and knowing the said fish was caught that morning, and don’t even get us started on tropical desserts. There’s also a difference between the food that’s served at resorts or hotels vs. authentic Caribbean food (not that it can’t be served both in and outside of resorts!), and when it comes to the latter, some islands are serving up blissful entrees.
Planning a Caribbean vacay around food might not seem practical, until seeing what these islands are cooking up.
Martinique has long been hailed as having one of the best cuisines in the Caribbean and its French roots display that in all its glory. With that being said, there are a number of cuisines that have been incorporated into Martinique’s style to result in flavorful, bold dishes, including African and South Asian. Visitors will find anything from stewed octopus to sea snail, all of which is flavored with a very special spice blend that has a base of pepper, mustard seed, turmeric, bay leaf, and coriander.
The birthplace of jerk chicken, Jamaica is undoubtedly a destination for good eats. According to visitor reviews on TripAdvisor, one of the best ways to try this island’s traditional foods is through street vendors or carts. Everything is fresh and full of flavor, with local ingredients standing out above the rest. The same review suggests dining at local restaurants which, as any foodie knows, is the best way to get a taste of truly authentic cuisine.
St. Lucia has also been hailed for having some of the best food in the Caribbean along with some of the most stunning vistas around. There’s something about the atmosphere of St. Lucia that makes eating your way through this island even more fun; with so much dancing and singing happening around you, it’s easy to get lost in its wonder and charm. When the scene is set with traditional St. Lucian music, it’s time to get lost in the food, the most popular of which the spiny lobster known as langouste, as well as saltfish which is typically served with sweet green figs.
If island foods were placed in order and ranked according to their fishes, then Trinidad would undoubtedly finish in the top three. Trinidad, in particular, is known for its street food reputation, which is some of the best out of any of the islands. One of these well-known foods is referred to as ‘doubles’ which starts with a fried flatbread and ends with a flavorful curried chickpea filling. It’s easy to say that Trinidad’s street food is where any foodie should start, and they should be on the lookout for other traditional snacks such as paratha roti.
St. Martin is gorgeous and, luckily, the deliciousness of its food equally matches the beauty of its vistas. Visitors to this island are lucky because they’ll have both options from St. Martin as well as Sint Maarten. The former offers the best in Creole-inspired seafood dishes while the latter is heavily Dutch-influenced, with flair from both the Netherlands and the Caribbean, such as the use of jerk seasoning.
Puerto Rico has always been known for its outrageous flavors and it’s definitely one of the reasons to add this dynamic country to any bucket list. The country’s cuisine is a unique blending of three: Hispanic, Taínos, and African, which results in a truly diverse array of foods that are quite unlike any other throughout the Caribbean. Empanadillas are always a visitor favorite, which can be found filled with a variety of meats, spices, and vegetables before they’re fried in a delicious dough. Pastelón is a beloved traditional dish that can be found in many restaurants around the country, and it’s yet another food that should be on any visitor’s list.
The Dominican Republic is yet another destination that’s hailed for its beaches, nightlife, and entertainment, but it should also be applauded for its Caribbean offerings. While much of it is inspired by the surrounding Caribbean islands, it also has a fairly heavy Middle Eastern influence, which adds fun twists to many of its dishes. Mangú is a local favorite and is also the best mashed plantains you’ll ever eat, while pudin de pan is a dessert that travelers will be dreaming about long after they’ve boarded the flight home.
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