Caribbean Food You Can Cook At Home

By: Melissa Walker-Jones

The mix of cultures and peoples who live in the Caribbean have served to make it's food a fusion of styles, textures and flavors that are enjoyed by all sorts of people around the world. This rich cultural history, makes eating and cooking Caribbean food an enjoyable experience whether done at home or eating out with friends.
If you have already been introduced to Caribbean food, then you are someone who knows how delicious it is, however perhaps you have not yet realized how easy it is to cook Caribbean recipes at home in your very own kitchen.
It doesn't really matter where or how, all that matters is that you enjoy the food that you are eating and that through the enjoyment of the authentic dishes you are getting a little slice of Caribbean life to make your world that little bit better.
Caribbean food is a fusion cooking from the various cultures that have inhabited the Caribbean islands over the past thousand years. The Islands original Indian peoples, the Arawaks, Caribs and Taino cooked using the fruits and vegetables of the Islands. As people from other regions of the world arrived, so the food culture changed. Enslaved Africans brought their cooking techniques and ate food that the European Colonizers and slave masters didn't want.
Their ingenuity, combining the meat and vegetables with spices and herbs, slow cooking cuts that others didn't want brought new flavours, and fantastic stews were born during this time. As slavery ended and Colonizers went to China and India to obtain indentured laborers. The Asian workers brought with them their cooking styles and added it to the melting pot that is Caribbean cooking.
If you are someone who enjoys Caribbean food, then why not try to cook some at home for yourself? What are the techniques you need to use? Well for starters, ensure that the meat, vegetables, herbs and spices you are using are fresh and of the best quality that you can find. Many Caribbean Islanders are within 30 miles of an agriculture producer so their produce is usually very fresh, there are very few Islands that don't have some sort of agriculture or farming community.
One thing that is of paramount importance, especially for meat dishes is to make sure that you marinade the meat for at least 2 hours. If you have a refrigerator and are planning to cook Caribbean for a dinner party, then you can leave the meat to marinade overnight which will intensify the flavors of the herbs and spices that you have used to season the meat.
Unless you are frying the meat, it is usual for Caribbean meat to be slow cooked. This allows the seasonings to further penetrate the meat and for a good gravy base to develop. Steaming, boiling, stir frying are all techniques used in Caribbean cooking when it comes to vegetables. You may try roasting veg as well. Jamaicans, Barbadians and Trinidadians all enjoy eating roasted Yams, Corn and Breadfruit.
Although this article is more about tempting you to try cooking Caribbean food at home, don't worry about recipes you can find those on the net. As we said Caribbean food is about great ingredients, freshness and fusion, so don't forget to add your own little bit of flair to the mix. It will help to make the recipes you may have got from someone else, more your own.

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If you want to know more about Caribbean Food check out Melissa's website for more Island recipes, hints and tips

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