The Caribbean is indisputably beautiful, but can also be a quirky place. Many of its customs and cultural characteristics may seem odd to outsiders.
The region’s dynamic history and melting pot of varied peoples with different backgrounds and behaviour is reflected in the food which can be a little odd, but undeniably delicious.
Here are the Caribbean dishes you should definitely try…
Trinidadians will curry anything! This delicious habit has given rise to a surprisingly tasty mix of flavours in curried mango. The ripeness of the mango depends on personal taste but it’s usually taken at the green or almost ripened stage, chopped up and tossed into a sauce pan with garlic, chadon beni, saffron, geera, a bit of sugar, hot pepper and of course curry powder. The result is a mouth-watering melt of sweet, sour and tangy flavours that go great with just about anything.
Barbados and St. Kitts are reportedly the only two Caribbean islands to still have this West African import thriving in the wild. But only in the latter, can you find it stewed and referred to as ‘tree mutton’. In St. Kitts, the Vervet Monkey (or Green Monkey because of its hue in certain lights) reportedly outnumbers the human population 2:1. But if this dish becomes any more popular, that may not be the case for very much longer, since there is talk of putting it on the menu in local restaurants to help reverse overpopulation. Locals claim that unless you are told, this dish is virtually indistinguishable by taste, sight or smell from regular mutton.
The Brits might be familiar with this adaptation. This is one of the most mouth-watering things to smell and eat, until perhaps you find out that it is made by steaming rice in coagulated pig’s blood then stuffing it into the animal’s intestine before boiling. The dish resembles sausage links and anyone from St. Kitts or Guyana will tell you this is probably one of the most delicious foods on the planet.
This delicacy pretty much speaks for itself, except that the people from Trinidad and Guyana who eat this jungle meat swear by its deliciousness and are well supported. An entire Facebook page is dedicated to the appreciation of this and other delicacies that can be plucked from the wild and you can find roasted iguana served at many local festivals.
Since when do chickens croak? This is an outsider’s mistake, since in Dominica, ‘Mountain Chicken’ refers to a giant ditch frog that is fried and served with ground provisions. It got its name because of its size and the similarity in taste/texture to the common chicken. However, the chances of flying over there to sample it are slimming, since over consumption and a worldwide fungal epidemic have made it one of the world’s most endangered amphibians.
Post culled from The Culture Trip