Belizean Cuisine

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.

Garifuna Hudutu Belize by Ted Obermayer

Garifuna Hudutu Belize by Ted Obermayer

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

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2 thoughts on “Belizean Cuisine

  1. Wow, what a list, Amy! I look forward to hearing about all of them, especially hudut, dukunu, and the meats! How long will you be in Belize?

  2. Would be great if you avoided eating Hickatee turtle if you are not of Garifuna descent, due to the fact they are now an endangered species in Belize.

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