March 27, 2017
Tessa Pendarvis
Spanish 102
Ch 6 Essay

El Caribe and Its Cuisine Influences

Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Creole, Cajun, Amerindian, European, Portuguese, Spanish/Latin American, East Indian/South Asian, Arab, Chinese, Jewish, and Javanese/Indonesian cuisine. The continual influx and steady increase of Africans into the Caribbean and South America constantly rejuvenated African cultures, a persistent African cultural input, and a culinary revolution under the influence of Africans that would permeate every aspect of cooking and cuisine in rural and urban areas of every country in the Americas. Ingredients that are common in most islands' dishes are rice, plantains, beans, cassava, cilantro, bell peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, coconut, and any of various meats that are locally available like beef, poultry, pork or fish.
In the Dominican Republic, a traditional breakfast would consist of mango, fried eggs, fried salami, fried cheese and sometimes avocado. A culinary metaphor has been used to describe Cuban and Puerto Rican nationalist identity, just as the African dishes gumbo and jambalaya have been used to define many aspects of culture in Louisiana. Ajiaco, or sancocho, is a stew made up of spices, meats, and tubers from Africa and the Caribbean. Prepared in the Dominican Republic and on all the Spanish-speaking islands, sancocho is sometimes prepared with goat's head and salt pork in place of beef and/or chicken with pork. In Honduras, regional specialties include fried fish, tamales, carne asada and baleadas. Other popular dishes include: meat roasted with chismol and carne asada, chicken with rice and corn, and fried fish with pickled onions and jalapenos. Seafood dishes, including mussel pie, conch stew, and shark hash, as well as cassava pie, black-eyed peas and rice, and a chicken- and pork-filled baked pastry made from shredded cassava, to name just a few dishes are on the menu during festival cricket in Bermuda. Like Carnival, celebrated in major cities in the Americas, and for which long periods of preparation are the tradition, festival cricket is said to be the time of "eating and drinking everything in Bermuda."
Therefore, it can be argued that the connection between the idea of the Caribbean being the ultimate paradise and Caribbean food being exotic is based on inaccurate information.