The Caribbean islands are divided into several different groups. The islands in each group tend to be more similar to each other — culturally and climate-wise — than they are to other islands scattered in the Caribbean. One of the best-known island regions is the Greater Antilles, which are located towards the northern half of the Caribbean Sea. While these share some similarities, each has its own unique cuisines. Here are some top Caribbean cuisines from the Greater Antilles that are worth trying.
The Cayman Islands is a territory of Great Britain, and as such, its cuisine has been influenced by British cuisine over the years. As such, you'll see a lot of stews, but with an island twist. Fish Rundown is a signature dish in the Cayman Islands. It's a hearty stew with a brown sauce, like what you might see in Britain, but it is typically made with yams, plantains, and fish caught off the coast. The Cayman Islands is also known for its desserts. One, known as heavy cake, is a sweet sponge made with cassava root.
Haiti has been heavily influenced by the French, Spanish, and African cuisines over the years. As such, its cuisine is similar to Creole cooking, featuring bold spices and lots of seafood. Goat meat is often used, as are herring and cod. Most of the spice mixtures used in Haiti get heat from Scotch bonnet peppers, which are grown on several Caribbean islands. Riz National, the National Dish of Haiti, is rice prepared with kidney beans, red sauce, snapper, and onions. Street vendors often serve various fried foods, including fritters and fish.
Cuban cuisine, like Haitian cuisine, has been influenced by Spanish, French, and African traditions. However, Cuban food tends to lean more heavily towards the Spanish side. Ropa vieja, which is shredded beef in tomato sauce, is quite popular. Arroz con pollo, or chicken and rice, is another staple. Over the years, Cuba has also become known for its drinks. The Cuba Libre, made with Coca-Cola and rum, is a classic drink. Mojitos an Daiquiris are also easy to come by in Cuba, and it is traditional to drink alcohol alongside meals.
The Greater Antilles islands of the Caribbean each have something unique to offer. Now, if you sample food from Cuba, Haiti, or the Cayman Islands, you will have a better idea of what to expect. Something tasty awaits. Visit a local Caribbean restaurant to learn more.