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Belize – Food and Drink

Belizean cuisine is a fusion of the flavors and ingredients of the various cultures that make up the country. The food of this country tends to be either fiery hot, or very cooling.

Breakfast is a lighter meal, often involving fry jacks. Fry jacks, or johnnycakes, are deep fried pieces of dough that are served with eggs, cheese and jam. When ordering in a restaurant, ask for “fry jack” rather than the plural which is never used in reference to this dish.

Rice and beans is a staple in Belize. It is made with black or red pepper, garlic,onion, thyme, and coconut milk as a soothing undertone. Barbecued chicken and coleslaw are traditionally served alongside. Seafood is also very common; lobster, conch, shrimp, dorado (mahi mahi) and snapper appear frequently in meals and on menus.

Other regional specialties include Boil Ups (or “Bile Ups”). This is a Creole inspired dish of eggs, fish, yucca, ground plantains and pig’s tail. “Tamales” are another national dish of corn dough stuffed with meat or corn and wrapped in banana leaves. “Hudut” is a dish of fish in coconut milk that is then served with mashed plantains.

Cheaper than food in many other developed countries, the food in Belize remains some of the most expensive in Central America. Food stalls and street food vendors are the best places in which to get authentic and inexpensive food.

The national cocktail of Belize is the rum punch, made with locally distilled rum such as 1 Barrel and mixed with any variety of juice. The national beer is Belikin, and wines are made from ginger, sorrel, cashew fruit and blackberry rather than any grape varietals. Seaweeds are a popular drink made from milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and seaweed. Tap water is not considered safe even for Belizeans who instead drink rain water collected from rooftops, so be sure to always ask for bottled water and be sure the seal hasn’t been tampered with.

The cuisine of Belize is spectacular. They consume more chicken and seafood compared to other proteins, and fruits are favored over vegetables. A truly unique cuisine has evolved in this country, and many exotic flavors and dishes are available to visitors.

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