WHAT TO EAT
For such a small island community, there is no end to the culinary treats that await you in
Bermuda. With more than 150 restaurants, you'll be sure to find a price range and menu to suit your every taste. Keep in mind that you won't find fast-food establishments on Bermuda they have actually been outlawed (with the exception of one lone Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet). You will find, however an interesting mix of English and American fare with a splash of other cuisines tossed in for interest.
Traditionally, Bermuda's cuisine took its cue from the English with fish being the predominant ingredient. Also plentiful are local produce such as paw paw, sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, cherries and peppers. Recently, many restaurants and eateries have added a more international flare to their menus. For more on Bermuda restaurants, check out the dining sections at experiencebermuda.com, bermuda.com and Bermuda-online.org.
Much of the food is imported and you can expect prices to be a bit higher than other destinations, and there is typically an added gratuity of 15 percent added to all meals.
Some of the typical Bermudian dishes include:
Peas and plenty:
Black-eyed peas cooked with onions, salt pork and rice.
Peas and rice and pawpaw casserole to accompany a meat or poultry dish.
Bermuda fish chowder:
Prepared with rock fish and is consumed with sherry and rum.
A recipe of sweet fish Wahoo is a particular favorite
Lobster dishes are very popular among the locals and can be a bit pricey.
A recipe of steamed mussel in papaya, bacon, potatoes, onion, lemon, thyme and curry powder.
Dishes prepared with guavas like Bermuda syllabub (a multi-layered dessert with jellies and cream) or with Surinam cherries grown locally.
A traditional Bermudian dish which dates to 1612. This one is from www.myrecipefriends.com.
2-1/2 cups butter softened
1 cup sugar
4 lb. chicken breast, and thighs
Boil chicken in a large pot with seasonings (a couple of chopped carrots and stalks of celery will make the broth rich and savory). Debone chicken and reserve broth. Mix cassava (that has been drained of its juices as much as possible), eggs and soft butter. Add sugar and a good pinch of all the spices and mix well.
In a large, well-greased roasting pan, put in about 1 1/2 inches of the cassava mixture and add the chicken in an evenly distributed layer. Top with remaining cassava (another 1 1/2 inches) and prick with a fork. Then add about one cup of chicken broth and put in the oven at 350 degrees.
This will require approximately two hours of cooking. Remember to baste with chicken broth every 1/2 hour. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake another three hours. Baste hourly by pouring stock through the hole in the crust. Cool in the pan and then cover with a damp cloth - this keeps the crust soft. To serve, slice and warm in the oven, or in butter in a frying pan.
Yields: 12 servings
Flaming Surinam Cherries
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoon(s) Kirshwasser liqueur
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 pound(s) fresh sweet dark local Surinam cherries
2 pint(s) vanilla ice cream, divided
Directions: In a frying pan, melt butter over moderate heat. Blend in sugar and stir over heat until sugar is carmelized and turns a light golden color. Add Kirshwasser and ignite carefully. When flame is extinguished, add orange juice, blending well. Add cherries, stirring gently until cherries are heated through. Spoon ice cream into 3 sherbet dishes and ladle hot cherry sauce over each, dividing evenly.
A national Bermudian dish, with many variations. Here is one to try courtesy of foodnetwork.com.
(Start with a good rich stock, made from fresh local de-boned fish, with fish heads and tails used.)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
I cup finely chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups peeled chopped tomato
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
4 ounces flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 pints fish stock
2 cups cooked, flaked white fish meat
1-ounce black rum
1-ounce Worcestershire sauce
1/2-ounce hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat up the olive oil in a thick, heavy-bottomed pan. Add all the chopped vegetables, tomato and garlic and sweat off for five minutes, stirring continuously. Add the flour, cinnamon and herbs and continue to cook for two minutes. Add the fish stock and bring to a boil, then crumble the fish into the pan with the rum, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Let simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper, to taste.