My wonderful husband and I are going to Belize soon with two intentions: to spend as much time on a live coral reef as possible, and to soak up the unique Garifuna culture.
The Garifuna were descendants from slaves who escaped from a complex situation involving England, Spain, ships and islands.
The Garifuna ancestors escaped from Spanish slave ships and ended up on the island of St. Vincent. The British forcibly removed them from St. Vincent after several battles and brought them to Roatan, in Honduras, and they eventually left for other Caribbean locations including Belize.
Belize is home to many cultures: the vibrant Garifuna community, the German Mennonites and the native Mayans. The Creole village of Gales Point, as well as Dangriga, are two of our destinations in Belize which are the hubs of Garifuna culture.
The Garinagu people also believe that there is a connection between food, spirits and deceased ancestors – as do many other cultures. The Buyei, or spiritual leader, connects the living to the dead and leads in worship through song and dance. We love the music and can’t wait.
Right now, because of a lack of literature, I know very little about Belizean food. I plan to learn more. In the meantime, here is a brief list of some of the foods I’ve read about and what I can expect, but make note I intend to take more thorough notes, photos and recreate these for you:
hudut: pounded cassava or plantain with coconut milk and then cooked in a pan, or fried
boil up: rice and beans boiled up mixed with tomato sauce, spices, and fresh fish or pigtail
potato pone: a sweet potato dish that is baked for dessert
caldo: cooked chicken served with tortillas
garnaches: a cabbage-bean-tortilla dish
darasa: a dish based on green bananas and coconut milk
panades: a corn pocket full of meat or vegetables, round in shape
sere: coconut milk broth commonly used to cook fresh fish
conch chowder: self explanatory
cowfoot soup: also self explanatory
dukunu: it’s the belizean equivalent of banh tet – but they use cornmeal and then set a filling into it and wrap with banana leaves
meats include: hicatee (turtle…), iguana, gibnut, deer, fish, etc.
tableta: coconut candy
seaweed drink: self explanatory
guifiti: plants soaked in rum