Taste of the Caribbean

 Which flavour most says Caribbean to you?

Which flavour most says Caribbean to you?

BBQ’s are a common choice when the weather hots up but why not mix it up a little with the taste of the Caribbean. There are some fabulous dishes inspired by many cultures and countries to cook for the family or share with friends.

The most common ingredients are rice, plantains, beans, cassava, coriander, bell peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and coconut among others. 

 Recipe and image from BBC Good Food

Recipe and image from BBC Good Food

Along with these key ingredients, learning how to make your own ‘Jerk’ recipe is vital! Traditionally, it is a dry, very spicy rub used to flavour meats before flame grilling them. Have a look at this recipe.

Used for many dishes, ‘Mojo’ is another secret of Caribbean cuisine. Ingredients may include garlic, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, celery, green onions, and herbs like coriander, marjoram, rosemary, tarragon and thyme.

There is a really simple recipe here which goes very well with meat or vegetables.

If you’d like to experiment for the whole family, you can still use spice for the flavour but reduce the heat (no Scotch Bonnets!). You could try the infamous Chicken and rice. Wildly popular where Spanish influences remain strong, this deceptively simple dish is a savoury mix of flavours that include tomatoes, garlic, peppers and more.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be a Caribbean theme if there were no cocktails! How about trying a Planter’s Punch Rum, a Jamaican inspired cocktail combining dark rum, lemon juice, grenadine syrup and Angostura bitters. To make it truly authentic, serve in a pineapple!

You could also opt for the classic Mojito which originates from Cuba. It is claimed that Sir Francis Drake and his comrades first discovered the combination of mint leaves, fresh lime and Rum over 400 years ago and it still remains a popular choice today.

So, what are you waiting for? Invite some friends over, put on some Caribbean music and spice up your Friday nights!