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Our Islands, Our Culture, Our Cuisine.


Visitors to the Caribbean will enjoy sunny skies, deep blue oceans, white sandy beaches, and an abundance of fresh tropical fruits, delectable cuisine, exotic drinks and mouth-watering deserts.

The rich blend of locally produced fruits and vegetables and the availability of fresh seafood make these islands a magic kingdom for intrepid diners.

Caribbean cuisine has its roots in the culinary heritage of the people of this region, the descendants of enslaved Africans, indentured East Indians and European colonizers. Out of the blending of these different cultures has emerged what we now proudly call Caribbean cuisine.

Ingredients that are now used daily including coconut, chickpeas, cilantro, eggplants, onions, and garlic were introduced by the Spaniards. Other settlers, like the French and the English brought with them ingredients such as rice, plantains, beans cilantro bell peppers and tomatoes and various meats such as beef, poultry, pork, and lamb. Ingredients such as breadfruit, mangoes and sugar cane were brought from the east by the Spanish, French and the English. A few signature dishes are associated with particular islands, for example ackee and saltfish with Jamaica; pelau made with rice, pigeon peas and chicken with Trinidad; and goat water with Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Within the last fifty years, as migration from the islands to North America and Europe increased, Caribbean cuisine, culture and music have become familiar to many.

In the Caribbean a typical Sunday lunch may consist of roast beef or roast chicken or roast leg of lamb accompanied by rice and peas, fried plantains, callaloo, and steamed vegetables, followed by a desert of freshly churned coconut ice cream.

Guavaberry liqueur is a Caribbean drink served during the Christmas season. It is made from the guavaberry berries, and is usually augmented with rum, syrup and spices. It is a favorite in the Virgin Islands, St. Martin and Anguilla.

Rum Punch is an authentic Caribbean drink, utilizing rum from the sugar industry and the abundant tropical fruits available. It consists of white or dark rum, citrus juices, other fruit juices, bitters, grenadine or other sweeteners and spices and served over crushed ice.

Ponche de Crème may be found on the grocery shelf, but cannot compete with the homemade variety. The main ingredients are rum, condensed and evaporated milk, egg, nutmeg and bitters. It is also served over crushed ice. In Jamaica it is also made with Guinness stout as the main ingredient.

Sorrel drink is another local drink, made from the sorrel flower, which gives off a rich red color after boiling. Sorrel is consumed mostly around the Christmas season as this is the time when the flowers are produced. However, new varieties of sorrel now produce flowers year round. Other flavours may be added such as ginger lime, and cinnamon. Each island has its own variation of this drink.

Another favourite is ginger beer, made from fresh ginger which is grated, boiled with clove, cinnamon, and orange peel, then fermented.

Desserts reflect the mixed cultural origins of the recipes. Some traditional desserts are black cake made with rum soaked dried fruits; coconut sweet bread; and the traditional Virgin Island tarts made with either guavaberry, coconut, pineapple or guava. These desserts may be served together with guavaberry liqueur.

The term “you are what you eat” implies that our lifestyle and dietary choices impact our health and well-being. Caribbean meals prepared based on a diet plan can provide all the nutrition needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Choose the Caribbean for your next breakaway vacation; linger for some time in our beautiful Virgin Islands; enjoy our beaches, and our cuisine. And immerse yourself in our diverse Caribbean culture.

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