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When you first visit a Caribbean restaurant, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the complex and unfamiliar names of all the dishes. But rest assured, there are some delicious and approachable options on that menu. If you see any of these dishes, order them — you're almost certain to enjoy them, even if you're completely new to Caribbean cuisine.
Fungee and Pepperpot
You might first think this is a dish made from mushrooms and peppers, right? While that sounds tasty, it's not what fungee and pepperpot is. Fungee is actually a type of bread made from okra and cornmeal and rolled into a ball. It has a mild flavor, but when placed into the pepperpot, which is a rich stew, the fungee soaks up the juice and takes on that flavor. The closest American dish to compare it to would be stuffing or dressing. Pepperpot can vary from restaurant to restaurant. It is traditionally made from whatever meat and veggies are leftover, but pork is commonly used.
Muscovy curry is just a curry made with duck meat. Muscovy is the specific type of duck that is common in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean nation where this dish originated. Muscovy curry has a richer, fattier sauce that you are probably used to in a curry because duck is a pretty fatty meat. The sauce is made from a mixture of curry, scallions, peppers, cilantro, and garlic, so it has a really potent flavor. It is traditionally served over rice.
No, this is not a beverage — it's a soup! Mannish water is a soup traditionally made with any cuts of goat that could not be used in any other dishes. The broth is flavored with yams, green bananas, and hot peppers for a truly tropical taste. The soup is traditionally served in small cups with plenty of bread on the side for dipping. In some regions, it is even said to be an aphrodisiac, similar to oysters.
Chicken souse is a hearty dish that's the equivalent of Caribbean comfort food. Chicken is combined with potatoes and onions and then seasoned with butter, lime juice, allspice, and peppers. The result is a delicious dish with a nice, creamy texture from the potatoes and butter. This is truly a one-pot dish and perfect for a big dinner.
If you are not sure what to order at a Caribbean restaurant, go with one of the favorites above. You won't be disappointed.Share