A Garifuna Culinary Adventure

Other Cuisines

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The Garifuna are descendents of Africans that escaped slavery and eventually found a home in the Caribbean coast of northern Central America. There, they evolved their own language, customs and cuisine.

While I've visited Garifuna regions - Livingston and Puerto Barrios in Guatemala and in Bluefields and the Corn Islands in Nicaragua -, it's been around two decades and I can't quite recall the cuisine. I do remember the Garifuna women who sold cakes, however, though I didn't attempt to make one myself.

As you can expect, Garifuna cuisine is based on the foods of the Caribbean coast: fish and seafood, coconut, cassava and bananas are all staples. Cooking methods are simple, but can be laborious - including a lot of pounding with mortars and pestles, at least before the advent of food processors.

Given that I'm not a huge seafood fan, I only made two Garifuna dishes. The fish soup, in particular, was guest-worthy and epitomized the flavors of these people.