Many visitors arrive in Belize unsure about what to expect when it comes to food and drinks. A true melting pot society, the cuisine in Belize is a harmonious blend of Caribbean, British, African, Maya, American, and Mexican culinary influences.
Fishing is an important part of the Belizean economy, and fisherman bring in hauls of lobster, shrimp, conch, and fish (including snapper, grouper, and dorado/mahimahi) on a daily basis.
Agriculture is also important in Belize and the fertile soils and warm weather produce bountiful crops of citrus fruits, pineapple, papaya, mango, quince, breadfruit, dragonfruit, guaya, bananas, craboo, cashews, coconuts, tamarind, and cacao (the main ingredient in chocolate).
Rice and Beans
This staple Caribbean dish is usually cooked in coconut milk and eaten with a healthy dollop of hot sauce.
Many Belizeans eat rice and beans together with stew(ed) chicken cooked with an annatto seed spice called recado.
Hot sauce is very popular in Belize, particularly local brand Marie Sharp’s still made by hand in Dangriga. You’ll see bottles of Marie Sharp’s on every table in Belize.
The most common form of meat in Belize is chicken, although domestic beef is available. For more daring gourmands, other kinds of meat available in Belize include:
- Gibnut – Sometimes called the “Royal Rat” after it was served to Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to the country, this is a large rodent.
- Bamboo Chicken – Better known as a giant iguana, Belizeans swear it tastes just like chicken.
A traditional Garifuna dish, this is a stew made with fried green plantains and a creamy coconut milk broth. Often served with cassava bread.
Eaten for thousands of years by the Maya, this dish is made from pork marinated in orange juice and rechado and slow cooked until tender. Served with fresh-made corn tortillas.
A classic Creole dish often spelled “Bile Up,” this is a full plate of food that includes eggs, root vegetables, plantains, and fish boiled together in a tomato sauce.
Coconut pie, chocolate pie, and bread pudding are the most popular desserts in Belize, along with fruit cake during the Christmas holidays.
Fresh-squeezed juices are very popular in Belize. Other popular drinks include:
- Belikin Beer – The only locally-made beer in Belize.
- Fruit (milk)shakes.
- Rum – Made locally, the most popular brand is “One Barrel” rum.
- Seaweed shakes – Made from dried seaweed, condensed milk, and spices.
When you rent a car from Barefoot Rentals and Services, you can explore the country at your own pace and try different restaurants around the country to experience culinary Belize at its finest.