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5 Caribbean snacks you’ve got to try

By HannahFriday 02nd October 2015

Try Tostones, the Caribbean’s potato crisps - Image by Flickr user Jirka Matousek Try Tostones, the Caribbean’s potato crisps - Image by Flickr user Jirka Matousek

 

Blue skies, blazing sun, white sands and turquoise waters – all trademarks of the Caribbean, as anyone who has ever visited will know. This beautiful part of the world is made up of a collection islands located in the Caribbean Sea, and it’s a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

 

As well as the incredible weather and spectacular beaches, the Caribbean has some absolutely delicious cuisine, from curried goat to banana fritters. To whet your appetite, we’ve selected five Caribbean snacks that you’ve got to try, no matter how short (or long) your visit may be, as well as a few recipes for dishes you can make at home.

 
When visiting the Caribbean, expect lovely weather and beautiful beaches. When visiting the Caribbean, expect lovely weather and beautiful beaches.
 

Patties

 
Consisting of flaky, golden-yellow pastry containing all kinds of fillings, patties are a tasty treat that can be found on almost any street corner in Jamaica. Traditional fillings include beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish or vegetables, flavoured with spices and herbs and stuffed inside the pastry before being baked. The mouth-watering golden appearance is achieved using an egg yolk and turmeric glaze.
 
 
Pick up a Jamaican patty from a street vendor - Image by Flickr user Jason Lam Pick up a Jamaican patty from a street vendor - Image by Flickr user Jason Lam
 

Tostones

 
Tostones are the Caribbean version of potato crisps and they are available throughout the islands. Tostones, which is what they are called in Puerto Rico, are made from plantain (a starchy vegetable that falls somewhere between a banana and a potato), which is sliced, deep-fried twice and seasoned with salt.
 

Tostones Recipe (serves two)

 

 Ingredients

 

5x tbsp corn oil
1x green plantain
700ml water
Salt to taste
 

Method

 

- Peel the plantain and cut it into 2cm rounds, while heating the oil in a large pan.
- Once the oil is hot, fry the plantain for 3.5 minutes per side.
- Remove the plantains from the oil and flatten them between two plates.
- Dip the plantains in the water before frying for another minute on each side.
- Remove from the oil, use kitchen paper to pat off any excess oil, add salt to taste and serve.
 

Bacalaíto

 
Another popular snack in Puerto Rico, bacalaíto is a salt cod pancake that’s often served at beachside food stalls and festivals. They’re made from shredded salt cod, which has to be soaked to remove the salt, mixed with seasoned flour batter and fried. Typical seasonings include parsley, cumin and sage.
 
 
Hiking in Puerto Rico will help you work up an appetite.  Hiking in Puerto Rico will help you work up an appetite.
 

Banana Fritters

 
Banana fritters are a popular sweet treat throughout the Caribbean, but each country has their own version, with small additions that make their recipe unique. Jamaican banana fritters are fairly straightforward, combining mashed bananas, spices, flour and sugar to form fritters to be fried.
 

Banana Fritters (makes 25)

 

Ingredients

 

3x overripe bananas
190g flour
60ml milk
3x tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil for frying
 

Method

 

- Peel the bananas, place them in a bowl and mash with a fork until they begin to go runny.
- Add the sugar, flour, milk, salt and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
- Heat enough oil for shallow frying.
- Once the oil is hot, drop tablespoons of the fritter batter into the pan, as you would when making pancakes.
- When the edges are firm, turn them over. They should be medium-brown in colour.
 
 
Sample Bacalaíto salt cod pancakes - Image by Flickr user  snowpea&bokchoi Sample Bacalaíto salt cod pancakes - Image by Flickr user snowpea&bokchoi
 

Conkies

 
If you’ve got an unrelenting sweet tooth, then you have to try conkies. Made from cornmeal, sweet potato, coconut and pumpkin, these tasty morsels are popular throughout the West Indies, and are often eaten on special occasions, like Independence Day in Barbados. They are made by mixing cornmeal, grated potato, pumpkin and coconut, nutmeg, butter, sugar and milk into a paste. This paste is then put into small banana leaf parcels, which are tied with string, and then steamed.
 

Feeling hungry?

 

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