The Caribbean is not only a tropical paradise with glorious golden-sand beaches and warm, turquoise waters but also a fantastic destination for foodies and gourmets, with the local cuisine offering a delightful array of flavors and dishes. When embarking on an affordable cruise ship vacation to the Caribbean with your family, one of the highlights is undoubtedly the opportunity to savor the region’s delectable culinary traditions and amazing fresh produce.
From mouthwatering seafood to exotic fruits and spices, Caribbean cuisine boasts a diverse and vibrant palate that will tantalize the taste buds of young and old alike. So, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with your kids as we explore the must-try dishes and local delights that the Caribbean has to offer.
Jerk Chicken – Jamaica
No trip to the Caribbean would be complete without savoring the iconic dish of Jamaican jerk chicken. A true landmark of this extraordinary island, this succulent dish features tender pieces of chicken marinated in a spicy and aromatic blend of Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, thyme, and other secret spices. The chicken is then grilled to perfection, creating a smoky and fiery flavor that will excite even the pickiest eaters.
Rice and Peas – Throughout the Caribbean
One of the most famous regional dishes and a staple in many Caribbean countries, rice and peas is a delicious side dish that perfectly complements any meal. Despite the name, it’s not your typical green peas but rather kidney beans cooked in coconut milk with rice and seasoned with garlic, thyme, and scallions. The creamy texture and rich taste make it a hit among kids and adults alike.
Conch Fritters – The Bahamas:
For a delightful seafood treat, try conch fritters in the Bahamas. These crispy fritters feature chopped conch meat mixed with flour, onions, bell peppers, and spices before being deep-fried to golden perfection. The result is a crunchy and flavorful snack that will have your kids coming back for more and make for the perfect introduction to seafood for little ones unsure about the delights of mussels, clams, and shrimp.
Roti – Trinidad and Tobago:
Originating in Trinidad and Tobago and a fascinating demonstration of the strong south Asian influence on the island, roti is a popular Caribbean dish enjoyed by people of all ages. It consists of a flatbread made from flour and filled with various curried fillings such as chicken, goat, or vegetables. The combination of tender curry and soft roti creates a delicious and satisfying meal for the whole family.
Plantains – Throughout the Caribbean:
Plantains are a versatile and beloved ingredient in Caribbean cuisine, and are always popular with kids. Whether they’re fried to make crispy plantain chips, mashed into sweet plantain porridge, or cooked as a side dish, they offer a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors. Your children will enjoy discovering the different ways plantains are prepared and served throughout the region.
Accras – Martinique:
Accras are delightful fried treats commonly found in Martinique. Made from salted cod, flour, and a blend of herbs and spices, these savory fritters are a must-try for adventurous young eaters. Accras are perfect finger foods for kids, making them an excellent snack option during your Caribbean adventures.
Johnny Cakes – Throughout the Caribbean:
Johnny Cakes, also known as Journey Cakes or Fry Dumplings, are a beloved breakfast or snack option found throughout the islands. These fluffy and delicious treats are made from a simple dough of flour, water, and baking powder, then fried until golden brown. Serve them with butter and jam for a delightful and kid-friendly morning treat.
A family vacation to the Caribbean not only promises sun, surf, and sand but also an unforgettable food adventure for kids and parents alike. From the fiery jerk flavors of Jamaica to the south Asian influences in Trinidad and Tobago, each island offers a unique and delicious array of dishes. Exploring the vibrant and diverse Caribbean cuisine with your children will undoubtedly be a memorable experience, enriching your family’s adventures with delightful flavors and local delights. So, set sail on wonderful and unforgettable trip to the Caribbean and immerse your taste buds in the rich tapestry of flavors that this enchanting region has to offer.