Eat Like a Local When in The Bahamas
While The Bahamas is usually known for its magnificent turquoise water and white-sand beaches, the cuisine in The Bahamas is to die for. From the bounties of the ocean to the tropical fruits, peas and rice, the cuisine can satisfy any taste, but do you know which foods to try when visiting the Bahamas?
On your next holiday in The Bahamas, there are several local dishes that are well worth trying, and some may even end up ranked as some of the best food that you’ve eaten. Let the local cuisine of The Bahamas enhance your holiday experience on your next trip.
We will explore some of the most notable dishes that can be found at many restaurants in The Bahamas such as at Paradise Landing on Paradise Island which is sure to entice your tastebuds. Paradise Landing will have a total of three world-class restaurants where you can taste the richness of Bahamian and international cuisines while overlooking the iconic Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina.
The Bahamian Conch Salad is a well-loved classic salad made in The Bahamas. It is a vibrant shellfish dish made with fresh raw conch meat added with a vibrant mixture of spicy goat or scotch bonnet peppers, lime juice, orange juice, bell peppers, and onions. There is also a tropical version of the salad with pineapple and mango added to the regular salad, with a less spicy flavor.
The medium-to-large sea snail native to The Bahamas that lives in the famous conch shells makes up the main ingredient for this dish and can be eaten raw, steamed, fried, and stewed. The taste resembles a mix of crab and salmon and is a favorite among locals. Be sure to try a healthy, delicious Conch Salad during your stay in The Bahamas if you’re looking for a light meal that will excite your taste buds.
The next must-try meal on our list is another conch meat-inspired dish – the conch fritter. Conch meat is deliciously fried in a batter of garlic, paprika, milk, eggs, cornmeal, flour, cayenne pepper, sea salt, ground pepper, hot sauce, thyme, and lime juice. Variations of the dish exist but the dish is essentially the same fried fritters that locals and tourist love. Conch fritters are always served with the quintessential Bahamian “conch sauce” as a dipping sauce: a mildly spicy dip made with ketchup, lime, and hot sauce.
The delicious finger food can be an excellent snack or even a whole meal to enjoy while overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters of The Bahamas, although it is best served as a side dish to compliment your main course.
One of the most popular dishes in The Bahamas is the famous Cracked Conch. Similar to Conch Fritters, the Cracked Conch is breaded and battered and then deep-fried until the batter-covered conch meat is crispy and golden. Unlike Conch Fritters, Cracked Conch is the main course meal and not a side dish and can be served with your choice of peas and rice or fries with a choice of dipping sauce – usually spicy sauce to compliment and enhance the delicious flavor of conch meat.
The conch meat is often tough but the method of cooking Cracked Conch helps to tenderize it making it less chewy and an ideal lunch or dinner meal with dipping sauce if you’re looking for something easy and delicious to eat – a favorite among kids!
The Bahamas is famous for the amazing spiny lobsters that can be found throughout the rich marine life off the coast of Bahamian islands. The clean, tropical waters add to the delectable flavor of Bahamian Lobsters and no trip to The Bahamas is complete without a Rock Lobster dish. The lush ocean habitat helps to grow some of the biggest rock lobsters that are ideal for the perfect lobster dish.
There are several ways to prepare the delicious Bahamian Rock Lobsters including creating a creamy mixture, grilled, steamed, and boiled. Restaurants throughout The Bahamas serve freshly-caught rock lobster in a variety of delicious ways with boiling and steaming being the most popular. Served with braised vegetables, rice, or fries, the dish is sure to impress due to the locally-sourced lobsters and the palpable skills of the master chefs who prepare it.
Bahamian Stew Fish
Another traditional dish that is worth having on your next yacht charter or holiday to one of the many exotic islands is the Bahamian Stew Fish. Is it commonly made with ingredients including onions, tomato paste, oil, flour, carrots, and of course, fish. The fish of choice is usually either grouper or snapper which will likely be caught locally in the shallow Bahamian seas brimming with game fish.
After browning the fish and combining it with the browned mixture, the stew is slowly simmered until the fish melts in your mouth. The Bahamian dish is often served with a side of freshly-made bread or Johnny Cake.
A Bahamian favorite widely enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, Johnny Cake is a dense bread-like dish often served as a side with dishes like the Bahamian Stew Fish. There are several variations of the cakes that date back to times past but in The Bahamas, Johnny Cake is generally baked. It can be a perfect breakfast snack with some butter and jam, too.
It’s a simple mixture of milk, butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and flour and is essentially a friend cornbread pancake. Have a slice with your morning breakfast or help it break up a rich stew with this fantastic Bahamian favorite.
“Souse” is a Bahamian soup, most often served as a breakfast food. The dish can be made with a few variations, but The Bahamian Chicken Souse is the most common iteration of the dish that locals love and is another must-eat food in The Bahamas. It combines ingredients such as baked potatoes, chicken, celery, onion, garlic cloves, in a light and bright broth seasoned with allspice, limes, and goat pepper or dried red pepper. The zesty taste of spicy peppers and lime cooked to perfection combines wonderfully with the potatoes and chicken to create a light and filling dish. Add a slice of Johnny Cake to your Bahamian Chicken Souse which is sure to lift your mood – the perfect food if you’re feeling under the weather.
Peas and Rice
Bahamians make the most of classic dishes and put their own exotic twists for you to enjoy while visiting the Bahamas. If you are keen on something healthier and light, then Bahamian Peas and Rice is a perfect choice. Often a side dish favorite, Peas and Rice gives you a perfect way to fill up while enjoying the tropical flavor and landscape of The Bahamas.
For Bahamians, Peas and Rice alongside fish, chicken, or red meat is the only way to have a full meal. The dish generally consists of white long-grain rice, deep brown pigeon peas, onions, thyme, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, and either salted bacon or pork. A final ingredient that is a staple in Bahamian kitchens is “browning sauce,” a sweet and salty sauce made with a rich caramelized sugar that creates the traditional brown colour of the dish and adds a robust, lightly sweet and smoky flavor to the traditional side dish.
Enjoy the best dishes that The Bahamas offers at one of the many world-class restaurants within a golf cart ride from your home or berth at Paradise Landing on Paradise Island. Call 242-677-1900 for more info.