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Apr 16, 2010 02:09 AM

whats the best Caribbean for eating and cooking

Going to visit the Caribbean in July and want to go to the best foodie island for simple local food. any thoughts?

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  1. Wow, that's a very broad question, and your best bet is to do a little research ahead, since each island has very unique food and history, and then you could determine which place serves the type of food you like, or would like, the most.

    One thing I can attest to, having been to that area of the world many times, is their commonality of enjoying fish and seafood, and lots of different spices, since they were mainly on the spice route & retained the European influences of their captors/invaders.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Phurstluv

      Regarding spice, I find that this is true mainly among former British colonies where there has been an East Indian influence. Food in former Spanish holdings, such as Cuba, Puerto Rico and the DR do not have the same extensive flavors.

      1. re: JungMann

        Cuban & Puerto Rican food can be good, but mostly it's just boring.

        Islands with a decent IndoCaribbean population have outstanding dishes.

        Case in Point...Trinidad & Tobago

    2. -Dominican republic has a variety of seafoods. Yucca, plantain, Paella .. among other things.

      -Cubans eat a lot of chicken and pork, seafood too, and their food is rather simple and hardy (black beans and rice) Seasonings are rather hard to get there.

      Just a bit of what I experienced through my travels.

          1. re: celeryroot

            Martinique and Barbados have lovely food, but they are pricy. Haitian friends here prepare similar French-and-African influenced food, but I really wouldn't suggest a Haitian journey right now. Even in "normal" times most people have a hard time cooking as they would like.

            Bamia, there aren't a lot of seasonings in Cuban food, even in the diaspora.

            1. re: lagatta

              I made a very strange "slip" - I intended to write Martinique and Guadeloupe - Bajan food is very different from that of the French islands.

            2. re: celeryroot

              Absolutely, Martinique. I've been to a number of different islands and while you can find occasional great food in many places (one of my favorite restaurants on the planet is on the tiny island of Vieques), the French influence in Martinique combines with Caribbean ingredients to produce a cuisine that's truly a cut above. And the local rum (rhum agricole) is also something special - the better ones are aged like (and comparable in complexity to) fine cognac. Not to mention nearly impossible to find in the US - be sure to bring some back if you go!

              1. re: BobB

                Vieques the bombing range? Nothing french there.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Didn't say it was French, just very, very good. The restaurant is called El Quenepo and is run by an American expat couple. They do their own Thai-influenced take on locally-caught seafood and classic dishes like mofongo and churrasco.

                  And if you think Vieques is nothing but a former bombing range - keep thinking that, it's getting too touristy as it is!

              1. re: grampart

                No, not Tortola. A lovely island in many ways, food not among them.

                1. re: small h

                  Tortola does have some very interesting mushrooms, though.

                    1. re: grampart

                      Yeah, but they boil the heck out of 'em!

                      1. re: small h

                        During full moon, one can get some mushroom tea at a famous seaside joint called Bomba's Shack. Strange doings at that place!!

                        1. re: grampart

                          I know. I've been. That's what I meant by boiling the mushrooms.

                            1. re: grampart

                              Why yes, yes it does. But how did you get it to look so sharp and clear? I remember it being really blurry.

                2. Of all the islands I've been to, St. Croix had the best restaurants.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: StheJ

                    Man, all I was thinking was the sacrifice of good food in order to live in paradise on St.Croix... Going back next month, determined to find the hidden gems.

                    1. re: StheJ

                      So which restaurants were the best in the Caribbean on St. Croix?