- Food and Cooking
Five Favorite Foods Of The Bahamas
Oh! I just adore seafood, don't you? If you are a committed fan of that superb, just fresh from the ocean taste, then there can be no better place for a vacation than the Bahamas.
In a country that consists of twenty nine islands and six hundred and sixty cays, you’ll never be far from the sea and its bounty.
You can eat on the beach or in the best restaurant in Nassau yet your taste experience will always be glorious when the crab, conch (pronounced konk), or spiny lobster you’re sampling probably came out of the water only minutes or hours before.
Flavor and Color
Crab salad is a huge Bahamian favorite –the land crabs that you may glimpse scuttling about on the beach at night, are served baked or boiled and have a nutritious kick and a wonderful full flavor which exudes from the flesh as it’s mixed with a superb range of locally grown salad.
Typically salad will be sweet peppers, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes bursting with flavor, onions, lime juice and home made, thick, creamy mayonnaise.
You’ll see this Bahamian favourite on many menus as a starter or as a main course.
After an appetite enhancing outdoors day of water sports, swimming or exploring, a fresh crab or conch dish is sure to leave you feeling replenished
Beautiful and Delicious
The conch is the seafood most associated with the Bahamas. It’s a large ocean living mollusc with firm white flesh that has a pink tinge – not unlike lobster.
You can eat conch raw, when it’s split open and just sprinkled with lime juice and seasoning and you can’t get fresher than that, nor more mouth watering.
But conch is an adaptable food and if you’re really hungry you’ll be spoiled for choice between cracked conch, which is deep fried, conch fritters and steamed conch. Steaming is an effective cooking method for drawing out all the delicate flavours of this seafood favorite.
Conch chowder is also a popular dish, a thick, creamy soup, often served with Johnny cakes
Johnny cakes are a favorite all over the Caribbean and especially in The Bahamas.
Johnny cakes are usually made from seasoned cornmeal; it’s a slightly sweet flavored bread that’s cooked in a pan, not an oven.
It goes so well with many local soup and stew type meals, served fresh and hot from the pan. A perfect accompaniment to Conch Chowder or Stew Fish – another local speciality.
Stew fish is what is says, but what fish! The waters of the Bahamas offer a dazzling choice of flavors and you can experience all that bursting with life taste as the fish is gently stewed along with local vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, onions and spices
But what about meat I hear you thinking. Well, once you’ve sampled the shellfish and fresh fish straight from the ocean you may feel like a change and you could try ordering a local delicacy called souse.
This Bahamian favorite is pronounced ‘sowse’. It’s a slow cooked meat stew most often featuring chicken, but other meats such as oxtail or pork are often added to enrich the flavor along with bay leaves, sweet peppers and other Bahaman grown vegetables.
Curried mutton is popular along with other local dishes such as traditional pea and ham soup or pea soup with salt beef and dumplings.
Thick, tasty, satisfying and good for you!
Well, obviously you can’t eat without drinking and if you want to explore local flavors then you should first try the local beer, called Kalik, the most popular beer on in the Bahamas.
A light refreshing chilled drink for the day can be one of the hundreds of variations of exotic fruit and citrus juices and of course, coconut water.
The islands also have their own tea, delightfully named Island Rose Tea. But the most popular and delicious drinks are made with the highly regarded local spirit, rum.
Most barmen in The Bahamas will have their own take on the classic Bahamian rum cocktail, the Bahama Mama. Another option is a mix of gin and coconut milk if the sweetness of rum is not for you.
Dining on the Beach
Eating and drinking in The Bahamas is a pleasure not to be missed so expand your culinary horizons and give your taste buds the treat of their lives by sampling as much as you can of local produce and dishes.
And especially the top five favorites; crab, conch, johnnycakes, rich stews of meat and fish and for a real treat, try relaxing after a sun soaked day with a Bahama Mama!