The Caribbean includes islands and countries as diverse as Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Antilles, Guadeloupe and Martinique, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Virgin Islands. Common foods like seafood, chicken and coconut, as well as recipes like jerk and callaloo, unite these islands into a heterogeneous culinary paradise.
Adobo: A basic seasoning mix used in Spanish-based dishes.
Annato: Also called achiote—small red seeds used for flavor and bright yellow color.
Arroz con Pollo: Chicken and rice—a Spanish specialty.
Black Bean Soup or Sopa de Frijol Negro: Thick, black bean soup served over rice that is a specialty of Cuba.
Cabrito: Young goat, used in Jamaica's Kid Curry.
Callaloo: Both a vegetable (greens similar to spinach) and the name of a soup made with callaloo.
Casabe: Bread made with cassava, dates back to the Arawaks.
Cassareep: Juice from the cassava root used for seasoning.
Chorizo: Spicy Spanish sausage usually made from pork.
Coconut Shrimp: Appetizer of deep-fried shrimp with light coconut sauce.
Conch: Spiral-shaped edible mollusk used in appetizers, salads, and stews.
Coo-Coo: Dense cornmeal bread, sometimes cooked with okra or flavored with coconut.
Coconuts: Hard, round fruits of the palm tree—flesh and milk used for desserts, sauces, and drinks—some traditional dishes use coconut oil for deep frying.
En Escabeche: Pickled.
Flan: Egg custard that can also be made with fruits, pumpkin, or coconut cream.
Hearts of Palm: Tender, inner leaves of the palmetto (palm) tree.
Jerk Pork: Signature Jamaican dish—pork seasoned with chilies, herbs, and spices.
Langouste or langosta: Lobster.
Pepper pot: Classic Caribbean stew made with meat and sometimes vegetables.
Picadillo: Pork cubes cooked with peppers, raisins, and olives in a spicy sauce.
Plantain: Like a banana but starchier, and used more like a vegetable—as it ripens, it turns from green to yellow to brown.
Salt fish: Dried preserved codfish.
Sofrito: A spicy vegetable mixture used to season other dishes.
Stamp and Go: Deep-fried codfish patties named after nautical command.
Yuca: Also known as cassava or manioc—a long potato-like tuber with starchy flesh used to make tapioca, or ground and made into bread.
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This page modified January 2007
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