One of the exciting things about travelling to a place where you’ve never visited before is getting to taste the local cuisine and flavours. Bahamian cuisine gets its inspiration from the dishes and cooking style of the American South, which is very much evident in the side dishes and seasoning used. We’ve made you a list of the most popular and unique elements of Bahamian cuisine. You might as well give these dishes a try on your next vacation to the Bahamas.
Conch, pronounced as “konk”, is considered to be the local staple and the national dish of the Bahamas. This mollusk is found throughout regional waters and its meat is cooked in multiple ways. At Arawak Cay (also known as The Fish Fry), you can watch conch salad being carefully prepared, and try conch fritters or cracked conch, battered and deep-fried conch meat seasoned to perfection. Another popular preparation of this unique seafood is conch chowder, a tomato-based soup with conch that is stewed until the meat is extremely tender.
After conch, grouper is the second-most-consumed seafood species in The Bahamas. It’s served in many ways, could be batter-dipped or sautéed, and called “fingers” because of the way it’s cut into pieces. The fish can also be steamed and served in a spicy Creole sauce.
Baked crab is also considered to be one of the best known dishes in The Bahamas. It’s a mix of eggs and the meat of either land or sea crabs with seasonings and bread crumbs. The crabs are later replaced in their shells and baked.
Peas n’ Rice:
Peas n’ rice is a staple of Caribbean cooking, and you’ll find peas n’ rice as a side dish for many Bahamian meals. The “peas” are basically pigeon peas, a hearty legume that is cooked with rice, tomatoes, onions, often some salt pork, and spices.
Bahamian Johnny Cake:
Of course, when we’re talking about Bahamian dishes, we can’t miss out on Johnny Cake. This simple bread is eaten as a snack or side dish, and its simple flavor easily compliments every meal.
It’s a known fact that The Bahamas has a long history with rum, and it’s not a surprise that rum is a major aspect in many Bahamian cocktails, such as the Goombay Smash—which combines rum with pineapple juice and coconut—or the Bahama Mama.
The most quintessential Bahamian dessert is certainly the guava duff. This traditional Bahamian recipe combines guava fruit, sweet dough, and a special rum or brandy butter sauce to spread on the top.
Bahamian Hot Patty:
If you want some snack on the go, give a thought of grabbing a Bahamian hot patty. Baked until golden brown and filled with a blend of minced beef and veggies, certainly loved by many in the Bahamas. Don’t forget to miss out on these delicious patties while you’re on your shore excursion.