The Bahamas was one of the first destinations I ever visited outside the US, and I absolutely fell in love with it. A short flight from anywhere on the East Coast and a stop on many Caribbean cruises, it’s so easy to reach the Bahamas. If you have the chance to visit, be sure to sample the culinary delights of these beautiful islands as well. The dishes here are a mix of food you’d typically see in the southern US like rice, cornbread, and peas, and Caribbean-style and African-influenced dishes which is often spicy seafood. Check out these dishes the next time you are in the Bahamas.
The conch is highly regarded in the Bahamians for its subtle flavor and tender texture. The Queen conch is especially highly sought after by seafood lovers. Cracked conch is made by battering or breading the flesh before deep frying. Ceviche style conch salad is made by adding tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cucumbers to raw conch. The combination is then sprinkled with lime juice, which “cooks” the seafood, and chilies. Conch fritters are made by chopping the conch adding red peppers and onions, then frying.
These cakes take after the American cornbread. They are a combination of milk, butter, flour, and sugar. The combination is cooked in a shallow pan. Johnnycakes can be served with stew and curry.
Grouper with grits
Grouper fillets are seared or fried and served in seasoned vegetable gravy with tomatoes and garlic. A sprinkling of cheese gives a slight tang to this popular seafood dish.
This is a staple dessert in the Bahamas. It is made by spreading guava jam on sweet dough before rolling it up. The dough is then placed in a cotton bog and boiled. The cooked duff is drizzled with brandy butter and rum.
Peas & rice
A dish of peas and rice is an all-time favorite in Bahamian homes. The peas are cooked in spicy water before adding to cooked rice. The combination is then seasoned with tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and onions. Meat lovers will have a serving of salted bacon or pork to go with the peas and rice.
Bahamian hot patty
This snack is a hit in the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands. It is made by spreading a mixture of minced beef and vegetables on a short crust patty and then folding it to enclose the filling. The patty is then baked until golden brown. There are vegetarian versions but both versions are sure to be spicy.
This cake is made with generous amounts of rum. It is a highly popular dessert and will be found in most eateries across Freeport and other destinations. It’s also popular in souvenir stores, so you can take one home if you love it as much as I do.
The Bahamians will have this drink with any dish and at any time. It is made with rum, coffee liqueur, pineapple, and lemon juice. Absolutely fabulous.