Discover the Flavor of Hopkins: A Guide to Garifuna Cuisine

traditional Belizean food

Like most folks living in the Western Hemisphere, the Garifuna people settled in Belize due to migrating from abroad, but the story of their journey was fraught with strife. These “descendants of the African survivors of human cargo ships were wrecked off the island of St. Vincent around 1675,” say Minority Rights Group officials.

These West Africans intermarried with indigenous Caribs, and and are today known as the Garifuna. Despite endless struggles borne of European conquests, war, colonization and discrimination, the Garifuna steadfastly maintain their language and rich culture, especially the culinary traditions that go back generations.

What’s on the menu?

belize garifuna culture

One of the joys of traveling abroad is sampling that culture’s food. If you find yourself vacationing in Hopkins, an epicenter of Garifuna society, you’ll be awash in eateries, so you’ll need lodgings for your culinary adventure. Belizean Dreams Resort, located at the edge of Hopkins, is the ideal place to recreate and have fun when you’re not sampling these traditional dishes:

Bundiga. This savory stew is prepared with banana coconut milk, peppers, cardamom, cinnamon, lemongrass, and other spices and served with fresh snapper.

Cassava Pudding offers diners a sweet taste treat composed of cassava, coconut milk, eggs, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

Conch Soup is a slow-simmering dish composed of conch meat, coconut milk, local veggies, and spices that even appeal to people who aren’t fish lovers.

Darasa. Cooks use not-quite-ripe bananas, coconut milk, hints of citrus, and fragrant spices to prepare a filling that is stuffed into green banana leaves that are then dropped into boiling water to cook.

Ereba is but one of the popular bread recipes prepared by Garifuna chefs. This hard flatbread’s base is cassava root, which is methodically grated to make the dough.

Hudut is prepared with coconut broth, ripe and green plantain, and deep-friend whole fish. Habanero peppers provide the bite in some hudut recipes.

Sahou. This creamy drink is often called the Garifuna version of eggnog. A blend of cassava root, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract, it’s like a smoothie, only healthier.

Sere. Sere is a fish stew with a coconut base that’s chock full of seasoned onions, garlic, cilantro, and other spices. Some recipes include potatoes, cassava, okra, or other vegetables.

Tapou. A mix of fish, root veggies, green bananas, garlic, red achiote paste, lime, and hot sauce give this stew a distinct flavor that pleases the palate.

Garifuna cuisine

Eat up and save money, too

If you can get away in March, seize the opportunity to eat your way around Hopkins and save a bundle by availing yourself of Belizean Dreams’ current Easter Flash Sale. This special won’t be around long, so if you can make it happen, you’ll find that your savings are as tasty as the dishes that inspired your Belize culinary adventure in the first place!

Contact Us Today

Email: [email protected]
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Local Belize Reservation Desk: +501-522-2400
Local Belize Front Desk: +501-670-2251
(add "011" to the local numbers to call from US)