Belizian food might be my favorite

Even tastier eaten off a dock!

The cuisine is Belize has been awesome. My mouth and stomach are in heaven every time I eat their Sunday supper standard: stew chicken, rice & beans, and coleslaw. Totally my favorite and I ate a plate (or two!) of it every day. Because hey, I’m on holiday! I have already given accolades to the cuisine in previous posts–taking my first bites of Belizian food with my friend Maggie and exploring the Caye Caulker food scene–but I must devote some attention to some of the fundamentals of my perfect Belizian meal.

Rice & beans is the base of most plate dishes and it is something I plan to incorporate into my cooking repertoire when I have a kitchen again. It isn’t just rice mixed with beans. Oh, no, it is far more than that. White rice and kidney beans are actually cooked together along with spices, sometimes meat, sometimes coconut, giving the rice a red tinge and more full flavor profile. It is hearty and delish! Along with some spicy chicken, coleslaw, and a Belikin… magnifique!

Pretty much the perfect lunch.

A ubiquitous condiment on all Belizian tables is Marie Sharp’s habanero hot sauce. Made in Belize, it is a delicious and all-natural sauce with a base of carrots instead of tomatoes. But the number one ingredient is always habanero mash. I developed an addiction.

And you cannot come to Belize without going crazy for Belikin. The beer of a nation, there is no choice. I am a huge fan of the Belikin stout, in the same heavy brown bottle as the beer but identifiable by the bright blue bottle cap. Interestingly, Guinness Stout is also brewed here in Belize, but a different recipe than other brews of Guinness available in the US or Europe. It has the silky mouthfeel as normal Guinness, but a decidedly sharp taste that I found weird. Only ordered it once, then switched back to good ol’ Belikin stout.

As an addendum, I must say that inland Latin American flavors shine as well. In San Ignacio, I ate killer El Salvadorean papusas stuffed with a pork-bean paste at the Saturday market and drank the best horchata of my life at a little Mexican hole-in-the-wall in town. The horchata was like imbibing manna; every sip made me shiver. It was that good. Oh Belize, how are you so wonderfully delicious? Good thing I am coming back later in the summer. 🙂

Papusa!
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