History Caribbean Food And Its Influences
Some of the first inhabitants of the Caribbean island were the Arawak, Carib and Taino Indians. The occupied the islands of the British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti and Grenada. The islanders mainly depended on the local produce and small animals of the land and the ocean for food.
Their daily diet included fruits and vegetables like the Papaya, cassava, guavas, and yams or sweet potatoes. They also cooked meat of small animals like fish, parrots and manitees. They mainly used clay pots for utensils.
The Arawaks used thin green wooden strips to cook meat and allowed the flavor of the wood to cook along with the meat. This was called barbacoa by them and today we know it as barbecue. The Caribs used several spices to cook meat and made hot pepper sauces. They also added lime juice to their meat recipes. The Caribs perhaps had the biggest influence on Caribbean history. The Caribbean Sea has been named after this tribe, and so also the land.
The Caribs had no fixed recipes for food, and they use several spices to enhance the flavor. Once the European settlers came in the Slaves population increased. However, their diet was very poor and consisted of whatever the Europeans did not want to eat. The Slaves mostly ate what was found on the islands like okra, fish, saltfish and mangoes. This type of food was avoided by the Europeans. Even now the Caribbean dishes are made of original African ingredients and recipes.
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