Traditional Caribbean Dishes

Although the Caribbean islands are well known for their blue ocean and unique culture, they also have a wealth of different dishes that are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The following is a list of just a few of the Caribbean’s more traditional dishes.

Callaloo: Originating from West Africa, callaloo is often seen on such islands as Jamaica and Trinidad. It is a vegetable dish that consists of boiled leafy greens in a stew made from such ingredients as coconut milk and a variety of meats or seafood.

Jerk chicken: One of the most famous dishes from the area, jerk chicken is smoked or grilled chicken that has been rubbed with a very spicy marinade. The dish is believed to date back to 1698, and it is most commonly associated with Jamaica.

Keshi yena: With a history that connects to the former Dutch rule of the Caribbean islands, keshi yena consists of stuffed cheese, usually edam or gouda. Keshi yena is boiled and filled with vegetables and chicken.

Goat stew: Although this dish varies slightly from island to island, goat stew is popular on Montserrat, where the stew is rather thin. It consists simply of goat and a clove-scented broth. Other islands have their own versions of the dish, but the broth is often a bit thicker.

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Popular Caribbean Dishes

An accomplished certified public accountant (CPA), Silford Warren serves as the president of his own Brooklyn-based financial services firm. When not in the office, Silford Warren is an avid traveler who has been to several countries. He often enjoys trying different cuisines while visiting new places and is particularly fond of Caribbean cuisine.

While most people picture blue water, white beaches, and sunny skies when they think of the Caribbean, the group of islands offers an equally compelling sensory experience through its rich cuisine. Following are just a few popular Caribbean dishes.

Accras: most often found in Martinique, accras are fritters that are often made with cod, sea urchin, or shrimp. They are served at all types of restaurants and in a variety of ways, but many locals enjoy eating them between two slices of baguette, a tradition reminiscent of the way early 20th-century workers enjoyed the dish.

Conch: similar to escargot, conch refers to several different types of large sea snail found in the Caribbean. Most often found in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, it can be either the main focus of a dish, such as when it is used in fritters, or it can be simply an ingredient of a more complex dish, such as stews.

Callaloo: originating from West Africa, callaloo is a vegetable dish first brought to the area by early slaves. It is made from boiled leafy greens combined with such ingredients as coconut milk, ocra, and a host of seafood and meats. Dominica is especially known for is crab callaloo, though the dish can be found throughout Jamaica and Trinidad, as well.