West Indian Cuisine and recipes
West Indian Recipes and cooking
Cooking by Country - May 2002
down for West Indian and Caribbean Recipes
West Indies Speciality Dish |
W. Indies Featured Ingredient |
Cooking by Country Main Page
this is not a country in the true meaning of the word, the cuisine from the whole region is of such an exciting nature that we've cheated in order to
include the various countries' recipes all in one go.
West Indies, more popularly known as The Caribbean since World War II, is a
large group of islands that separate the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean
and on the continent of North America.
It is comprised of three main island groups, including the Bahamas in the north
(over 700 islands), The Greater Antilles in the centre, including the countries
of Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico and the
Lesser Antilles to the southeast, divided into two groups, the Leeward Islands
and Windward Islands including the islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique
and Trinidad amongst the many.
Times, History and Influences on Caribbean Cooking
is believed the first inhabitants were American Indians - Arawaks and Caribs.
With the abundance of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, these peoples probably
prepared food in the most simplest of ways. Then came old Christopher Columbus
(again) in 1492 laying claim for Spain, quickly followed by the English, French,
Portuguese and Dutch bringing slaves from Africa.
The Europeans brought with
them their farming ideas including the introduction of pigs, sheep and cattle.
Indeed, one type of Caribbean cooking is known throughout the world today: the
barbecue - derived from the French "de barbe a queue" which
literally translates to "from beard to tail" from the practice of
roasting a whole pig over an open fire.
also imported plants such as bananas, coconuts and coffee and established
plantations for the wide scale growing of sugar cane, bananas, coffee and the
like. After slavery ended, indentured workers were "imported" from
India and China. They too brought with them their culinary customs all of which
have now fused into an exquisite and exciting gastronomic extravaganza.
Day Caribbean Cuisine
cooking really is a world of its own. The melting pot mix of peoples in the
islands has produced a cuisine which is unrivalled throughout the world.
there are a few dishes which are common throughout the islands in general, each
island has it's specialties and ways of cooking. For example, in islands such as
Martinique and St. Lucia, there is a strong French influence, both of them
having been ruled by the French at some time during their history.