Traditional Local Cuisine
Many years ago, Belize was the epitome of the traditional farm-to-table world. Meals were simple and fresh. The varied cultural backgrounds of the population meant local meals never got boring– at least for those of us who weren’t vegetarian!
Admittedly, for the curious outsider, some options were pretty exotic and unusual. Stewed Armadillo or Gibnut, or Sere with Hudut are just a few dishes you would find on any menu in Belize. Cooks made the best use of local produce. The meat was always fresh. If you were brave enough to venture from your comfort zone, you discovered a whole new world of flavors.
Everybody I knew in the city had a farm with a caretaker, or knew somebody who did. Food came straight from there to the family table. Fruits like mango, soursop, custard apple, papaya,banana and pineapple were always available. Even the stranger ones like craboo or kinep were in abundance during their natural season. However, imported apples, pears and grapes were reserved for Christmas. This was an exotic once-a-year treat.
The New Wave
From those early beginnings, Belize has steadily evolved in the most wonderful way into the new world of farm-to-table. It remains the perfect fit not only for the culture, history, dive, and nature enthusiast, but also for the health conscious traveler. Interest ina holistic lifestylewith an emphasis on wellness has certainly increased.
Properties like Gaia River Lodge or Chaa Creek Lodge have wholeheartedly embraced green living. They respect nature by minimizing the human footprint. This includes harvesting their own crops right on property, and walking freshly-picked goods to their kitchen. Hungry guests are treated to healthier food options that taste as good as they are for you.
While traditional dishes remain popular, a new generation of Chefs are embracing non-traditional combinations and preparations to create unique dishes using Belize’s wonderful local seafood, vegetables, locally grown herbs and spices, micro greens and even edible flowers.
Pumpkin-Coconut Green Chili Soup or Tequila Fish Tacos, anyone?