Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, has a potpourri of culinary influences, including Chinese, Mexican, Creole, and European. You'll find seafood or chicken and a hearty helping of spices at the heart of most Belizean meals.
Belize is part of Central America's Yucatan Peninsula in a region known as "Mundo Maya"—cradle of the Mayan people for 3000 years. From 1862 to its independence in 1973, Belize was known as British Honduras. Its tropical forests, coastal reefs and inland waterways have inspired many to call it a Caribbean Garden of Eden.
Many of the crops now produced by U.S. farmers were introduced by the indigenous people of Mesoamerica, including corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkin, and avocados. Many other agricultural products favored by Americans are also native to the area: papaya, cotton, tobacco, rubber, vanilla, and turkey. But there is even more natural flora and fauna of Belize that contributes to the local island-like cuisine.
Chicki Mallan offers us background on Belize from her Belize Handbook, from Moon Publications, Inc. For more information on Moon Publications, visit their website at http://www.moon.com.
Belize on Wikipedia
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This page modified January 2007
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