cuisine insights

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Caribbean cuisine
tips & insights

Popular Caribbean
cooking ingredients

I group the following cooking ingredients by their cooking/eating use, not by their botanical classification.


Banana, lime, mango, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin


Beans, breadfruit, callaloo, chayote, cherimoya, chili, coconut, garlic, jicama, okra, onions, plantain, rice, taro, yam, yucca


Conch, crab, lobster, ocean fish (fresh and salt-dried), shrimp 


Beef, chicken, pork, goat

Herbs & spices

Allspice, chili, cilantro, (coriander), curry, ginger, nutmeg, pimiento

European effect

An island's cuisine is noticeably influenced by its major European cultural heritage. For example, islands like Martinique and St Barts have a decided French culinary style. For the same reason, the prevailing European culinary personality in Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico is Spanish, those in Aruba and Bonaire are Dutch, and those in Barbados and Grenada is British.

Geological influence

Some Caribbean islands were created by coral while the rest was formed by volcanoes. The latter type island grows better fruits and vegetables because volcanic-based soil is richer than coral-based soil.

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Photo by JWalsh - PD



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