What’s Cooking? In Belize, Find Delicious Answers to That Question!
Visit France and eat fois gras. While in the U.S., order at least one cheeseburger and find out why pasta is Italy’s number one dish. But Belize is both a figurative and literal melting pot when it comes to cuisine, which is why you can stick around for weeks and sample new taste sensations without repeating menu selections. Here's your strategy: Choose one dining headquarters, like the restaurant at Cahal Pech Village Resort, where these 10 distinct ethnic dishes regularly appear on the menu.
1. Tamales. Belize tamales probably don’t taste like those you’ve eaten elsewhere. There are no corn husks wrapped around savory ingredients. Instead, plantain leaves are used. You may already know that Belize tamale recipes often meet regional tastes, so menus may make reference to these varieties: collado, torteado or bollos.
2. Tamalitos or ducunu deliver the Mestizo taste not found in the aforementioned tamales. These minis are made by stuffing corn husks with oven-roasted corn mashed with coconut milk, salt, sugar and butter before tamalitos are steamed to perfection. Whether you call them tamalitos or ducunu, you’ll also call them yummy.
Cow Foot Soup
3. Cow Foot Soup. No mysterious meat source in this hearty stew-like soup that’s cooked slowly so ingredients like potatoes, onions, okra and carrots absorb cilantro and black pepper flavors as they marry. Usually served with corn tortillas, white rice and habanero pepper sauce for more heat, this is a signature Belize dish.
4. Pibil. Look for dishes like Cochinita Pibil on restaurant menus and you’ll be treated to pork that’s been marinated, wrapped in leaves and buried to slow cook, just as Mayans prepared this succulent dish thousands of years ago. Served with tortillas, use them to hold the meat filling for quick delivery to your mouth.
5. Chimole. Don’t see it on the menu? Search for Relleno Negro or “Black Dinner.” This main course soup is made with chicken, veggies and spices. Use this recipe link https://www.belizenewspost.com/571/chimole/ if you’re not staying at Cahal Pech now. Prepare it and compare the two after you vacation there!
6. Sere. This fish soup owes its flavor to a blend of fried fish, coconut milk, plantain and cassava. Sere resembles hudut, a South Belize dish that’s representative of Garifuna cooking. Here’s the twist: hudut is prepared by cooking plantain until tender, combining it with fish and spices and serving it with a coconut milk dip.
Rice and Beans
7. Rice and beans. No Belize visit is complete without sampling Belize’s culinary staple, but don’t be surprised if it barely resembles the rice and beans you tried elsewhere, because in Belize, it’s cooked creole style, and you'll always find it on the Cahal Pech Resort menu.
8. Boil Up. What’s tossed into a Belize boil up? Unexpected ingredients are tossed into boiling stock that can include veggies, eggs, bread dumplings—and fish, too. A national dish served with pride, no visit to Belize is complete until you’ve tried it.
9. Panades. These Belizean delicacies, filled with fish, red or black beans--or whatever the cook adds—are known outside Belize as empanadas, so if they look familiar, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Accompaniments might not look as familiar: Panades are usually served with onion, cabbage and pepper salsa for a spicy finish.
10. Salbutes. Order it for lunch. Order it for dinner. These little fried tortillas topped with shredded onion, cabbage, chicken, tomato, cheese, avocado and usually Marie Sharp pepper are on menus everywhere, including Cahal Pech's onsight restaurant, so don’t check out until you’ve tried these tasty bites at least once.
Questions about Belizean Foods? Send us an email or call 239- 494- 3281. We will love to introduce you to the best Belizean cuisines.