BELIZE - WHAT TO EAT
Belize offers many options for dining, and much of its cuisine is derived from the various cultural influences that have affected Belize throughout its history. Here, you'll find a mixture of Mayan, Mexican, Caribbean, Spanish, African and English styles.
Side dishes are frequently rice and beans, often mixed with a little coconut milk. A frequent accompaniment to meals is hot sauce, which is as widely available in Belize as ketchup is in U.S. restaurants. Typically, meals involve meat or seafood and local seafood is a staple at most eateries. Here you can enjoy fresh snapper, grouper, barracuda, conch and seasonal lobster at both small, family-owned cafes or grills and high-end upmarket restaurants as well.
Vegetarian dishes may be hard to come by, but many Asian-inspired restaurants are cropping up and you can usually find something to please the non-meat eater in your group.
Local Specialties:Bamboo Chicken
Actually this refers to the local iguana, which as they say, tastes just like chicken.
The Queens Rat
This is a local rodent called a gibnut, and apparently is quite tasty when prepared correctly.
A Taste of Belize Dining:
Offering local Belizean cuisine specializing in seafood and traditional fare. Fine dining with linen tablecloths and proper dress required.
Blue Water Grill
Reservations are required at this restaurant, which is a popular hot spot that serves a creative mix of Caribbean seafood and vegetarian dishes.
Jambel Jerk Pit
This casual eatery offers jerk-style Caribbean cuisine in a laid-back setting with roof-top dining and Reggae entertainment.
Try the fiery-hot rice and beans here with fresh seafood or chicken or pork to jump-start your taste buds. Sanny's specializes in spicy Caribbean cuisine in a casual atmosphere.
Specializing in North American and Belizean food, this casual eatery is a visitor favorite. Fido's offers beach-side dining and an international menu to please just about every palate.
If you want to try the local favorite "bamboo chicken" (stewed iguana) here's the perfect place to give it a try. Also on the menu: gibnut, armadillo, brocket deer and more unusual fare. Harrison Ford has visited here when in Belize.
Belizean Beans and Rice
1 lb. red kidney beans
2 plugs garlic (crushed)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. thyme
2 lbs. cleaned rice
1 medium onion (sliced)
6-8 cups of water
(optional) 1 small pigtail or salt beef or pieces of bacon
Method 1. Wash the beans, and then soak beans for four hours, using the 6-8 cups of water. If you are using distilled water, then soaked beans only needs two hours to soften.
2. Boil beans until tender, with the garlic, onion and pig's tail/or salted beef or bacon pieces. Note: pre-wash the pigtail or salt beef and cut off excess fat. You can use a pressure cooker to cut down on the time.
3. Season beans with black pepper, thyme and salt. Note: You may opt not to add the salt if you used salt beef or pigtail above.
4. Add coconut milk. Stir and then let boil.
5. Add rice to seasoned beans. Stir, and then cover. Cook on low heat until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. If necessary, add more water gradually until rice is tender. Note: Usually, one cup of rice absorbs two cups of water, although rice grains can vary in the amount of water they absorb. To warm up leftover rice-and-beans, you can sprinkle with water to re-moisten.