Belize, a tiny country bordered by Mexico and Guatemala is often overshadowed by its more famous and well-known neighbors. However, what makes it shines over are the unsplit nature, the untouched jungles, its pristine beaches and of course, its rich culinary scene. When it comes to cuisine, Belize is a literal melting pot as it can offer new taste sensations and without ever repeating the menu selections. Belizean cuisine not only reflects its rich history but also its multiethnic population. The food reminds you of the country’s past and the journey of the diverse ingredients that began right from the Maya settlement, with the British settlers, the African influences, Spanish conquest and Mennonite farming communities. The recent influx of many other cultures has only expanded its vibrant menu and made it even more special. Just book yourself Belize overwater bungalow and explore the nature reserves, the Great Barrier Reef or the glorious Belize Blue Hole, as well as the great Belizean food.
Belizean kitchen reflects dishes from all over the world, and while the menu may sound similar, you will find the taste very different. When in Belize, interact with the locals and try out the local delicacies to immerse yourself in the culture. You won’t find any fast food chains, and one should follow the locals for the popular restaurants. Read on to know about some of the most delicious dishes in Belize.
Taste the real Belizean ceviche
Ceviche is found all over Mexico, South America, and Central America. However, what makes Belizean ceviche different is that it is made from conch or shrimp. The diced seafood is marinated in lime juice for a few hours and then tossed with tomatoes, onions, cucumber, black pepper and chopped cilantro. It is a lot different from the typical Mexico ceviches which are heavily fish based and sweeter. Harbour View in Belize City serves the real Belizean ceviche. The individual touch and complexity in the dish come because of each cook. Always order ceviche in Belize, and it is indeed a good bet., what with the Belize Great Barrier Reef and Caribbean home to wide assortment fish and shellfish. Belizean ceviche pairs perfectly with a cold beer on a hot day.
The savory snack Pupusas
Pupusas were introduced by El Salvador refugees, and the best pupusas can be bought from vendors at street stalls. The stuffed corn pancakes are indeed a delight as you dig in the very crisp and very saucy just-right savory snack. Enjoy Pupusas with homemade hot sauce and coleslaw. It is actually a traditional Salvadoran dish that makes for a delicious quick bite with a wide selection of fillings such as pork and beans stuffed pupusas.
The creamy and smooth Belizean tamales
Belizean tamales are very different from the Mexican tamale and are a traditional Maya food. They are wrapped in plantain leaves, and the bollo is made with seasoned pork or chicken, beans, along with green peas. Those squares are wrapped in soft corn dough which is house-made and steamed in banana leaves and held together with the string of plantain leaves. The tamales are steamed over an open fire until cooked. Those Belizean tamales will simply melt in your mouth. The healthy and nutritious meal is available anywhere and very affordable. Belize tamales are very different from those you’ve eaten elsewhere, and there are various tamale recipes designed to meet regional tastes, such as torteado, collado or bollos. Belizean tamales have remained virtually unchanged for and can be had even in the humblest of homes and remain just as delicious today as they were during the days of Maya royalty.
Simply delicious Belizean rice and beans
Belizean rice and beans are always served together. They are cooked in coconut milk and is usually served as a side dish to most main dishes. Ko-Ox Han Nah, a version of the staple dish is known for simplicity and traditional flavors. One can enjoy rice and beans with lobster, shrimp, beef, chicken or game meat. It has become something like the national dish and is generously ladled with meat, fried fish, whole or fillet. Your trip to Belize would remain incomplete without sampling Belize’s culinary staple, which is undoubtedly the most abundant meal in Belize. Every family has its own variation of rice and beans which can be more moist or drier. The Caribbean classic is enjoyed by Belizeans with meat, fish and potato salad.
The delectable little appetizers Salbutes and Garnaches
Garnaches are tortillas fried which are topped with beans, onion and cabbage and cheese, while Salbutes are more complex and are usually spicier and softer in texture. Those garnaches and salbutes are very delicious and are a perfect combination of flavors. They are a crispy treat that comes with fresh veggies and shredded chicken. The tiny fried corn tortillas are topped with a locally-made hot sauce.
Chimole known as “Black Dinner”
The unofficial national dish is black in color that comes from a broad mix of spices. Yucatan dried red pepper is roasted on a comal griddle until black, which is ground and made into a paste to which garlic, cumin, and oregano are added. The tasty black-colored soup is enjoyed by all in Belize, and its roots can be traced back to Mayan and Mestizo. The delicious chunky stew gets its unusual flavor from the local spices and achiote, which is a paste made from annatto seeds. One can look for an authentic version at El Fogon.