Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Amerindian, British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region's population. In addition, the population has created styles that are unique to the region.
A local version of Caribbean goat stew has been chosen as the official national dish of Montserrat and is also one of the signature dishes of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is a tomato-based stew, made with goat meat, breadfruit, green pawpaw (papaya), and dumplings (also known as "droppers"). Another popular dish in the Anglophone Caribbean is called "Cook-up", or Pelau, a dish which combines variations of meats like chicken, beef, saltfish and or pigeon peas or vegetables with rice. Callaloo is a dish containing leafy vegetables and sometimes okra amongst others, widely distributed in the Caribbean, with a distinctively mixed African and indigenous character.
Spices and seasonings
A common dish and one increasingly common outside of the area are meats seasoned with Jamaican jerk spice, oftentimes chicken. The spice has a unique, spicy flavor, reminiscent of Louisiana Creole cuisine, but nevertheless distinct. Curry goat and chicken are eaten throughout the Anglophone Caribbean islands, penetrating much further into the Caribbean than have the Indians who introduced them to the region over 150 years ago, most notably in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Guyana. Haitian, Guadeloupean and other French Caribbean cuisine, is very similar.
Meanwhile, the Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean tend to prefer more savory spices to these sharper flavors. Caribbean dishes are known for their makeshift uses of leftover meats that people commonly throw away. This usually comes in the form of mixing meat puree in dishes and other creative uses.Caribbean dishes also have a lot of savory dishes rather than a lot of sweet dishes.
Lime and garlic are more commonly used in Puerto Rico, Cuba and in the coastal areas of Colombia than pimento (or "allspice"). Other common flavors throughout the region include cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
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