In addition to the pleasure of traveling, there’s also the pleasure of ordering food like the locals. On the menu, snacks to be devoured without moderation.
In the land of Bob Marley, there’s more to eat than jerk chicken, the famous grilled dish seasoned with Scotch bonnet and allspice. Then there are the little patties. Sold in every village bouis-bouis, these golden turnovers are stuffed with beef, less often with fish, and are reminiscent of Latin American empanadas. They’ll fill you up between visits, my friend!
Puerto Rico: Alcapurria
On this American island, as in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, plantains are a staple food. Mixed with tarot, it becomes a paste that the Puerto Ricans use to make a kind of pogo, which they then stuff with meat or crabmeat before frying. This is alcapurria, best eaten on the beach with a boquerón, a cold local beer!
Guadeloupe: Green mango souskaï
This dish is often served as an aperitif, because yes, there’s more to ti-punch than codfish accras! This surprising Guadeloupe delicacy consists of a marinade of lime, chili and garlic, the souskai in question, in which large cubes of crunchy green mango have been marinated. Delicious!
Oh, the delicious root vegetable! Sold raw, sliced, drizzled generously with lime juice and seasoned with salt and chili, it’s as delicious in the markets as it is at the beachfront snack bars across Mexico. It’s almost like French fries! One thing’s for sure: it’s healthy, fresh, exotic, and costs… a mouthful of bread.
Costa Rica and Panama: Patacónes
Take these patacónes, slices of green plantain fried once, flattened like a tortilla, then fried again and salted before being garnished with fresh cilantro. Some serve them with a black bean dip, others with meat or fish, but most eat them like chips. You’ve been warned!
Take a large wheat flour tortilla, fold it in half, top it with refried bean puree and cheese, and you have your baleada. But the super special version is even better, because it comes with… whatever the vendor has on hand, i.e. pork sausage, avocado, plantains, eggs, in short, a guaranteed surprise!