If you are someone who travels by ‘following their stomach’, then a vacation to the Bahamas is sure to impress. From the incredible fresh seafood to the local beer and fruit native to the islands, there are numerous dishes that are considered Bahamas specialties.
Whether it is your first Bahamian experience or you have visited many times before, eating like a local and tasting the deliciousness the islands have to offer is a must. To dive in head first and experience the native delicacies and food of a new place is one of the most adventurous, exciting things you can do.
Offering an eclectic mix of island flavors, hand-picked fruit and freshly caught fish, there are numerous dishes considered by the locals to be favorites, and for good reason. Once you are in the Bahamas you will undoubtedly be spending your days relaxing on the beautiful beaches, exploring the pristine deep waters or soaking up the sun and the sights of exotic wildlife, all of which will leave you with a good appetite.
There are hundreds of restaurants throughout the Bahamas that offer an international variety of tastes and styles, and the native cuisine of the islands often depend on what seafood is caught that day.
LOCAL BAHAMIAN CUISINE HAS MANY DELECTABLE SELECTIONS
As mentioned, it’s all about the seafood when it comes to local fare. One important thing to note before embarking on a Bahamas food tour is that there are certain favorite sea critters that are prepared in every way possible, one of which is the Conch mollusk.
– Conch – Conch is the seafood most associated with the Bahamas, and it’s quite clear how much the locals love it. You will find Conch prepared a wide variety of ways, including Conch fritters, Conch salad and Conch chowder. A large ocean living mollusk with firm white flesh, Conch is often likened to lobster meat and is a Bahamas staple.
– Johnny Cakes – Made from seasoned cornmeal, Johnny Cakes are slightly sweet flavored breads and a favorite all over the Caribbean. Johnny Cakes are cooked in a pan and often accompany other dishes, such as soup and stews.
– Local Seafood served with Peas ‘n Rice – There is no shortage of fresh seafood when in the Bahamas, which oftentimes means rock lobster, snapper, mahi mahi, bonefish and grouper. A popular way to serve the various fresh seafood is with peas ‘n rice, which can be prepared many different ways, depending on the chef.
– Fish Chowder – Another popular Bahamas staple, fish chowder is another one of those dishes that can be prepared many different ways. Old-time chefs swear by using grouper with celery, onions, tomatoes, and numerous flavorings, but others choose to use whatever the catch of the day is.
– Tropical Fruits – Bahamians love their fruits, and this is made clear in the way they use them in numerous innovative dishes. One of the most popular dishes in the Bahamas is the Guava Puff, which is a dessert made with sieved Guava pulp and served with hard sauce – a blend of butter, sugar, vanilla and rum. Other common fruits include melons, mangoes, passion fruit and pineapples.
– Macaroni and Cheese – This may not seem like a Bahamian specialty, but it is actually a popular local favorite often served with potato salad. Heavily creamed and ultra-smooth, Bahamians also include celery, onions and green peppers in this classic cheesy dish.
When you’re on vacation to the Bahamas, one thing is for sure: you won’t leave hungry. From the abundance of fresh seafood to the unique flavorings and expertly cooked chowders, the Bahamian food is to die for. Wash your meal down with a signature rum cocktail (or two!) or try the Kalik beer, the beer of the Bahamas – you won’t be sorry.
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