Bahamian Cuisine: the foods of the 700 Bahama Islands. There are considerable variations among the islands, 30 of which are inhabited. Because of their close proximity to Florida (just 760 miles off the coast of Florida), the cuisine of the Bahamas is influenced – in addition to Cuban and other Caribbean cuisines – by Southern USA cooking styles. So much so that there is a brand of cuisine known as Floribbean cuisine.
But always, when you discuss Bahamian cuisine, you have to talk seafood, for sure. Shellfish, crab, lobster, conch, and fish are abundant from the surrounding ocean waters, and are ubiquitous in the popular dishes of the islands.
Bahamian cuisine is rich with tropical fruits, and dishes prepared will be traditionally well seasoned with hot chili peppers, cilantro, lime, garlic, onions, tomatoes, allspice, rum, coconut, and cinnamon. Staples include potatoes, peas, pigeon peas, and rice. And of course, the Bahamas are known the world over for the high quality rum produced there, and rum-based beverages are not only popular with the natives of the islands, tourists love them as well.
Rum is the national alcoholic drink, and a favorite concoction is called the”yellow bird” – which is rum mixed with orange and pineapple juice, apricot brandy, Galliano, and sometimes banana liqueur.
All over the islands you will find marketplaces with street vendors selling Bahamian cuisine “fast foods”, such as fried or grilled fish, pork, or chicken, conch chowder, pigeon peas and rice, fruits, Johnycakes. At the famous beaches of the Bahamas you will also find beach-side food stands, serving up specialty dishes that you will only find in this spectacular and romantic corner of the world.
And because of the huge tourist industry, in the larger cosmopolitan cities gourmet restaurants exist. Hotel eateries will serve international dishes as well as the finer, more elegantly prepared traditional and authentic dishes of the islands.
Bahamians love a good festival, and they do them up big, with plenty
of rum drinks, foods, music, ritualistic dress, and dancing. Independence Day (July 10), Fox Hill Day (2nd Tuesday in August) and the annual Pineapple Fest are the three biggest, most celebrated festivals.
Below is a list of several of the most popular, national favorite dishes that are authentic and traditional to the islands. For your convenience, you can click on the recipe(s) of your choosing, and be taken to a print-friendly page with just that recipe on it.
So off you go now, enjoying your journey into the rich, spicy, and sumptuous world of:
Guava Duff (Fruity sweet bread pudding dessert, with a delicious sauce)
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