A Taste of the Caribbean
Caribbean cuisine is itself a great fusion of different traditions and influences, including: West African Creole, Cajun, Amerindian, European, Latin American, Indian/South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese.
The Chinese launched rice and mustard; and the early Portuguese sailors are responsible for adding the famous codfish. Spain brought in fruit trees like orange, ginger, plantains, figs, date palms, sugar cane, grapes, tamarinds and coconuts; and The Americas introduced beans, corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and chilli pepper.
I’ve often been surprised that given the size of the London Caribbean community, there aren’t too many Caribbean restaurants around – but it’s easy to cook up some great tasting dishes.
Food from Jamaica: Jerk Chicken
Jerk cooking consists of both dry rubbing and marinating meat, traditionally chicken, with the perfect combination of hot, spicy, and sweet herbs and spices. Scotch bonnet chilies and allspice mark the traditional jerk marinade, and you can apply it to any meat and even vegetables. At Lidgates we are very luck to stock some amazing jerk spices and mariades – which I highly recommend you try. Have a look at the range HERE.
Food from Antigua & Barbuda: Fungee and Pepperpot
Fungee and Pepperpot is a local name for the popular dish made from cornmeal and okra. These are cooked with meats such as salted beef, pickled pork, pigtail, and chicken and finished with aubergine, onions, spinach, and, of course, mushrooms.
Food from Dominican Republic: La Bandera
La Bandera, translated from Spanish as “the flag,” is the country’s national dish. This colorful and soul-warming plate was traditionally a working-class lunch and consisted of beans, chicken, salad, and rice. The dish is often served with Tostones - small, fried green plantains.
We also do our own Caribbean Chicken Kebabs made with diced chicken thigh, peppers and onions marinated in a Caribbean marinade. You can order them HERE.