The Arawak, Carib, and Taino Indians have been the primary inhabitants of the Caribbean islands. These first inhabitants occupied the current day islands of British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Their every day food regimen consisted of greens and fruits corresponding to papaw, yams, guavas, and cassava. The Taino began the method of cooking meat and fish in giant clay pots.
The Arawaks are the primary folks recognized to make a grate of skinny inexperienced wooden strips on which they slowly cooked meat, permitting it to be enhanced by the flavour of the wooden. This grate was referred to as a barbacoa, and the phrase we all know immediately as barbeque is taken from this early Indian cooking methodology.
The Carib Indians added extra spice to their food with sizzling pepper sauces, and likewise added lemon and lime juice to their meat and fish recipes. The Caribs are mentioned to have made the primary pepper pot stew. No recipes exist since each time the Indians made the dish, they might at all times add new substances. The Carib had a big effect on early Caribbean historical past, and the Caribbean sea was named after this tribe.
Then the Caribbean turned a crossroads for the world . . .
As soon as the Europeans introduced Africans slaves into the area, the slaves food regimen consisted principally of food the slave homeowners didn’t need to eat. So the slaves needed to be creative, and so they blended their conventional African meals with staples discovered on the islands. The Africans launched okra, callaloo, fish muffins, saltfish, ackee, pudding and souse, mangos, and the listing goes on.
Most current day Caribbean island locals eat a gift food regimen that’s reflective of the principle substances of authentic early African dishes, and consists of cassava, candy potatoes, yams, plantains, bananas and corn meal.
African males have been hunters of their homeland, and sometimes away from house for lengthy durations of time. They’d cook dinner spicy pork over sizzling coals, and this custom was refined by the early slaves in Jamaica. The method is understood immediately as “jerk” cooking , and the key includes a gradual meat cooking course of. Jamaica…is legendary for jerk rooster and pork, and you will find jerk everywhere in the island.
After slavery was abolished, the Europeans went to India and China for labor, and extra cooking types have been launched. A lot of the Indian cooking tradition stays alive and properly within the Caribbean of immediately with the introduction of curried meats and curry powder. Indians name it kari podi, and we’ve come to know this pungent taste as curry.
The Chinese language launched rice, which is at all times a staple in house cooked island meals. The Chinese language additionally launched mustard, and the early Portuguese sailors launched the favored codfish.
Most guests to the Caribbean do not know that the fruit bushes and fruits so acquainted to the islands have been launched by the early Spanish explorers. The fruit bushes and fruits introduced from Spain embrace orange, lime, ginger, plantains, figs, date palms, sugar cane, grapes, tamarinds and coconuts.
Even the Polynesian islands play an essential function in Caribbean cooking. Most of us bear in mind the film “Mutiny on the Bounty”, however have no idea that individual ship carried breadfruit, which was loaded on board from the islands of Tahiti and Timor. Within the film the crew took over the ship, pressured the captain right into a small boat to fend on his personal, and so they threw the breadfruit, which they thought of “unusual fruit” overboard. One other ship was extra profitable in bringing breadfruit from Polynesia to Jamaica and the St Vincent and the Grenadines. Breadfruit is a staple food regimen within the present day Caribbean
America is accountable for introducing beans, corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and chili pepper to the Caribbean. Actually these specific meals had by no means been seen in Asia, Europe or Africa, so America truly launched these meals the remainder of the world through the Caribbean.
So it is no surprise Caribbean cooking is so wealthy and inventive with the flavors of Africa, India, and China, together with Spanish, Danish, Portuguese, French and British influences. Meals served within the Caribbean islands have been influenced by the cultures of the world, however every island provides its personal particular taste and cooking method.