Unique, diverse and downright colorful. Caribbean cuisine Anguilla is difficult to describe in simple terms because it is a mix of various cultures that have left their influences over the course of many centuries.
Aside from basking in the glorious sun and swimming in the brilliant blue sea, dining on fresh food enhanced with unique spices is a favorite activity in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is made up of hundreds of islands, all ranging in size, geography and cultures. Islands inhabited originally by two native groups the Arawaks and the Caribs, two groups who cleverly cultivated the land and first began developing Caribbean cuisine through the use of:
- Chile Peppers
- Barbacoa – native green sticks used to grill food – the beginnings of BBQ
- Yams, Corn, Cassava, Peanuts, Taro Root, Guavas, Pineapple, Black-Eyed Peas, Lima Beans
A time later when Columbus discovered his route to the Caribbean, sugarcane was introduced as was the beginnings of the famed Caribbean rum. More European colonists followed suit, introducing coconut, chickpeas, cilantro, eggplant, onions, garlic, oranges, limes, mangoes, rice, coffee, okra, pigeon peas, plantains, breadfruit, and ackee.
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Nearby South America was not without its edible influences, namely potatoes and passion fruit. Mexico can be credited with introducing papaya, avocado, chayote, and cocoa.
Those are just the original influences, to say nothing of what visiting tourists-turned-residents, the internet and modern-day transportation have done to offer further developments.
Truly, there’s no one way to define the melting pot that is Caribbean cuisine, which is exactly why it’s at once fascinating, delicious and exciting to try.
Though many of the islands are within relatively close proximity to one another, it can be shocking how typical dishes often differ from one island to the next.
There’s no better island to take a closer culinary look than at the “culinary capital of the Caribbean,” aka Anguilla.
Caribbean Cuisine Anguilla Offerings
A mere 30 square miles, Anguilla boasts an impressive amount of restaurants – more than 70 – making it quite the feat to try them all in one visit. Here are a few examples of restaurants to visit and what to order while there. Enjoy!
- Roy’s Bayside Grill – Try the Fried Snapper with Tartar Sauce or the Creole Mahi-Mahi, finish off with Coconut Cake.
- Veya Restaurant – One of the best restaurant’s that isn’t on a beach. Try the Carpaccio of Conch, Grilled Local Lobster or the Sauteed Red Snapper.
- Nat’s Palm Grove – The quintessential beach bar in Anguilla serving the quintessential dish – Crayfish. Perfectly grilled on a charcoal BBQ, served with thick fries, hot Johnny cakes and coleslaw. This is the must-try meal on Anguilla.
- Tasty’s Restaurant – Anything breakfast!
- Straw Hat – An Anguilla institution, everything is delicious. But, when a choice must be made, one can’t go wrong with anything that is grilled, especially if you choose the lemon-butter sauce.
- Spice – A lounge renowned for its menu, exotic Moroccan ambiance and incredible views of Maundays Bay. Try the Conch Ceviche, Beef or Lamb Kabab Shish Taouk or a classic Tagine.
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There’s truly not enough time to try all the delightful offerings of Anguilla in one visit. Perhaps that’s why Anguilla is home to so many regular visitors. People who return to the island for vacation year after year. They just can’t get enough of the cuisine!
As you contemplate the Anguillian cuisine expedition possibilities, you may also want to consider luxury accommodations to retreat to in between meals. Be inspired by the Greco Moorish architecture and the breathtaking views of Anguilla’s impressive landscape at Cap Juluca Resort. Situated on its own mile-long beach, Maundays Bay, Cap Juluca will renew, refresh and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.