The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures (and religions) with influences from European colonizers, the native community who lived there before colonization, and the waves of immigration. African culture has particularly left an indelible mark in Caribbean history (between 1662 and 1807 Britain brought around three million Africans to the Caribbean who were sold as slaves to work in plantations). The oldest evidence of humans in the Caribbean though is in southern Trinidad at Banwari Trace, where remains have been found from seven thousand years ago. At the time of European contact, the dominant ethnic groups in the Caribbean included the Taíno of the Greater Antilles and the northern Lesser Antilles, the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles, and smaller distinct groups such as the Guanajatabey of western Cuba and the Ciguayo of eastern Hispaniola.
Reading time: 8 Minutes
Author: Lucas Payá
It’s that time of year again, when the cold starts to break and warmer weather gradually begins to grace us with its presence.As the seasons change, we often seek out and welcome food and drink that reflects our surroundings.When things start to heat up, our desire for beverages that quench our thirst and cool us off grows exponentially with the increase in temperature.In a world filled with slushies and punches, there is one classic cocktail that has been helping us usher in Spring and Summer for centuries: Sangria
<strong>Tiempo de lectura:</strong> 6 Minutos<strong>Autor:</strong> Steven Dragun<strong>Fecha:</strong> 03/24/2023<strong>Categoría:</strong> Cócteles
View of Old San Juan from the Castle of San Felipe del Morro, in San Juan, PR. One of the best examples of European influence in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean’s multiculturalism is reflected in its many dialects and languages; Spanish, French, Dutch, Creole, Jamaican Patois, and English (among several others) are all native to the different islands, and the region is the birthplace of many popular types of music that have spread throughout the world.
WHAT MAKES CARIBBEAN RECIPES SPECIAL?
Not surprisingly, Caribbean cuisine encompasses a rich and diverse fusion of food from many different cultures, including African, Cajun, Latin American, Indian and European. These varied culinary influences that span the globe, have helped to create a style of cooking that is not only flavorful and delicious but also healthy, with its focus on fruits, vegetables, fish, and beans. These islands offer plentiful ingredients such as rice, sweet potatoes, coconuts, cassava, plantains, tamarind, mangoes, and yams. With a wide variety of meat including chicken, pork, and goat, plus an abundance of seafood available to the locals with shrimp, lobster, and conch being some of the favorites in this part of the world. Cuisines involve a unique blend of spices and seasonings. Many regional seasonings consist of a blend of three main spices: allspice, thyme, and scotch bonnet, and other ingredients that may include cayenne pepper, cloves, nutmeg, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, and sugar. Moreover, food preparation is a social activity often done by several members of the family. Food is often shared with extended members of the family and mealtimes are regarded as a social activity where tummies are nourished and familial bonds are forged.
WHY SHERRY WINE IS GREAT FOR PAIRING WITH CARIBBEAN MEALS
Considering this large and colorful variety of Caribbean cuisines, sherry wines are once again a very useful alternative to match this unparalleled diversity of flavors, spices, and aromas. If you need a broad array of styles to drink with your favorite foods, sherry is the answer. Taking into account the main characteristics of each dish, we can find a profile of wine to pair with creating a whole culinary experience; from appetizers and lighter dishes to heartier stews and main courses to more fruit-based preparations and desserts. From the bone-dry, savory finos and manzanillas to the spicier, bolder oxidative styles to the sweeter wine versions. Hungry yet?
5 CARIBBEAN MEALS THAT PAIR GREAT WITH SHERRY
BAHAMIAN BOILED FISH
- 2 lbs fish
- 1 lb potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 oz bacon or salt pork
- Juice of 3-6 limes, depending on taste preference
- 1 hot pepper, like scotch bonnet
- 7-8 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1.5 tsp dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp hot sauceHow to cook this Bahamian Classic
- Cut fish into large chunks and marinate with the juice of 1-2 limes, plus
- 1 tsp hot sauce, depending on the desired spice level.
- Cut bacon into 2-inch strips and fry until browned, but not crispy, in a 4-5 qt pot. Remove.
- Cut onions into rings and potatoes into 3/8-inch slices.
- In the same pot, layer fish, potatoes, thyme, chopped hot pepper, onions, and bacon. Add salt and pepper. Fill the pot with water until the potatoes are completely covered. Add the juice of 2-3 more limes. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are cooked but still firm, about 15-20 minutes.
CARIBBEAN COCONUT MUSSEL CURRY
- 2 lbs mussels
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 12 oz beer
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp cilantro
- 1 Tbsp parsely
- 2 green onions
- ¼ to 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- Wash mussels thoroughly if fresh. If you are using packaged mussels, thaw according to directions and retain the mussel juice, as it adds good flavors.
- Chop onions, tomato, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Remember to wear gloves when handling scotch bonnet peppers and wash your hands immediately. Discard the seeds and only use the flesh of scotch bonnet peppers.
- Heat oil on medium heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes a bit translucent. Add the curry powder and turn down the heat and cook for 3 minutes to toast the curry, which will bring out the flavors of the spices from the curry blend.
- Add the diced green onions and half of the parsley. Turn up the heat and add the mussels. Give it a stir. Add tomatoes, finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers or green chilies, salt and black pepper. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add beer, boil it, and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mussels open.
- Finish it off with fresh lemon juice and garnish it with cilantro and parsley.
- Beef – Chuck roast.
- Seasonings and Herbs – Cumin, oregano, sazon, adobo, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cloves, all spice, bay leaves and pepper.
- Veggies – Onions, bell peppers and tomatoes.
- Flavor enhancers – Wine, chicken broth, garlic, tomato paste, olives and capers.
- You will find detailed cooking instructions and exact amounts for three different cooking methods (stovetop, slow cooker, and instant pot) in the recipe card down below. We will give you a generalized stove-top cooking method here.
- Cut the chuck into a few large chunks. Mix cumin, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, sazón, adobo, salt, and pepper in a bowl and season the chuck pieces with the mixture generously.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and sear the meat chunks all over till brown. Plate them out.
- In the same pan, sauté onion and bell peppers till soft. Add garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, clove, and allspice powder, and sauté for a few minutes.
- Pour in the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes and tomatoes paste along with chicken broth. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add back in the beef chunks along with bay leaves and cook for 3-4 hours, covered, till the meat is fork tender. Stir it every 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the meat to a plate and shred it with two forks, then stir it back into the sauce.
- In the end, stir in olives and capers and cook for another 10 minutes. And there you go… Ropa Vieja is ready to dig into.
APPLE REBUJITO COCKTAIL
Wait, I need a drink. Are you up to surprises?
How about a sherry Mojito?
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Add the sugar to a skillet and cook it over medium heat for about 15 mins stirring frequently until it turns into a light brown color syrup, be careful not to burn it.
- Place the caramel into your baking dish
- Crack 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks into a bowl
- Add the evaporated milk, condensed milk, eggs, cream cheese, and vanilla extract inside the blender and blend it up then place it into the baking dish.
- Place the baking dish in a bigger baking dish and add some boiling water to create a water bath this will help the flan cook evenly.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.