food history in brief

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Caribbean cuisine

Caribbean cuisine
is a blend of culinary
influences around the globe

All of the culinary influences below merged together, creating what we call today Caribbean cuisine.

Arawaks and Caribs

The Arawaks are credited with creating the precursor to modern-day barbecuing. The Caribs introduced chili and other species to island cooking.


The Dutch, English, French, and Spanish conquerors and colonists introduced some of their cooking methods and ingredients (including garlic, onion, orange, chicken, coconut, pig, and rice).


From the early 17th century to the mid 18th century over a million Africans came as slaves, mainly to work in the sugar cane fields. With them came their cooking traditions and ingredients (including okra, pigeon peas, plantains, and taro root).

Chinese and Asian Indians

When slavery was abolished and the need for workers continued to grow, indentured Chinese and Asian Indians arrived in large numbers. Their culinary styles and foods (such as wok cooking and curry) migrated with them.

Other influencers

Because of their close proximity, the cooking techniques and foods from Mexico, Central America, and northern South America easily crossed the sea to the islands.

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