The Arawak, Carib, and Taino Indians had 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 each day eating regimen consisted of greens and fruits reminiscent of papaw, yams, guavas, and cassava. The Taino began the method of cooking meat and fish in massive clay pots.
The Arawaks are the primary individuals identified 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 technique.
The Carib Indians added extra spice to their meals with scorching pepper sauces, and in addition 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 elements. The Carib had a huge impact on early Caribbean historical past, and the Caribbean sea was named after this tribe.
Then the Caribbean grew to become a crossroads for the world . . .
As soon as the Europeans introduced Africans slaves into the area, the slaves eating regimen consisted largely of meals the slave house owners didn’t wish 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 record goes on.
Most current day Caribbean island locals eat a gift eating regimen that’s reflective of the primary elements of authentic early African dishes, and contains cassava, candy potatoes, yams, plantains, bananas and corn meal.
African males had been hunters of their homeland, and sometimes away from residence for lengthy durations of time. They’d prepare dinner spicy pork over scorching coals, and this custom was refined by the early slaves in Jamaica. The method is thought immediately as “jerk” cooking , and the key includes a sluggish meat cooking course of. Jamaica is legendary for jerk rooster and pork, and you will find jerk all around the island.
After slavery was abolished, the Europeans went to India and China for labor, and extra cooking types had been launched. A lot of the Indian cooking tradition stays alive and effectively within the Caribbean of immediately with the introduction of curried meats and curry powder. Indians name it kari podi, and now we have come to know this pungent taste as curry.
The Chinese language launched rice, which is at all times a staple in residence 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 timber and fruits so acquainted to the islands had been launched by the early Spanish explorers. The fruit timber and fruits introduced from Spain embody orange, lime, ginger, plantains, figs, date palms, sugar cane, grapes, tamarinds and coconuts.
Even the Polynesian islands play an necessary position in Caribbean cooking. Most of us bear in mind the film “Mutiny on the Bounty”, however have no idea that specific 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-about “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 eating regimen within the present day Caribbean
America is answerable for introducing beans, corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and chili pepper to the Caribbean. In actual fact these explicit meals had by no means been seen in Asia, Europe or Africa, so America truly launched these meals the remainder of the world by way of 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.