5 Popular Caribbean Dishes on Christmas
By: Feli Musing
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas deliciousness. In a Caribbean household, Christmas time is a celebratory occasion filled with beautiful people and equally beautiful food. From breakfast to dinner, Christmas is an extraordinary culinary treat. Each island has their own Christmas traditions, but the flavor will follow these Caribbean natives and their descendants wherever they end up. Here are five popular favorites that are sure to bring loads of holiday cheer this winter holiday season.
- Ackee and saltfish with fried dumpling can be found at the breakfast table next to a hot cup of chocolate tea. For many Caribbean families, good Christmas eats begin at breakfast. Ackee and saltfish is one of Jamaica’s most famous nutrient packed dishes, so of course the silky ackee fruit paired with salted codfish and natural seasonings like onions and thyme often make an appearance for Christmas. Fried dumplings are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Ackee and saltfish with fried dumpling jumpstart the holiday tastebuds.
Image source: https://originalflava.com/snacks/ackee-saltfish-fried-dumplings/
- Christmas ham is nostalgic to the nose and the tongue. That savory yet sweet aroma of oven baked ham wafts through the air each time the oven door opens. Displayed plain or adorned with pineapples and cherries, the baked ham dish is a real centerpiece for those who eat pork. As a high-protein option, it is sure to compliment other Christmas dishes.
Image source: https://jamaicans.com/honey-glazed-jerk-ham/
- Curry goat with rice and peas unite gamey goat meat and the complexities of curry, with the coconutty goodness of rice and peas. Bellies rejoice after tasting this well sought-after combination of high protein found in the goat and the peas, and good fat from coconut milk. Curry is a must on the Christmas dinner menu. The long cook time of the curry goat is so worth it when it hits your plate, and then your palate.
Image source: https://www.souldeliciouz.com/how-to-cook-curry-goat-and-rice-n-peas/
- Sorrel, the lovechild of boiled hibiscus flowers and ginger root. With a few additional ingredients, this antioxidant rich drink is vibrantly red and festive. Sorrel can be transformed from virgin to alcoholic when rum is added as the final ingredient. Some people opt to add red wine to this alluring elixir as well. Variations of this drink recipe can be found in an array of Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Grenada. Served cold, this is just the perfect light refreshment to wash down your Christmas dinner.
Image source: https://iamajamaican.net/food/2015/12/jamaican-sorrel/
- Black cake is a Christmas dessert that is moist and delightfully dense at the same time. The deep color is attributed to dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, and the like which are soaked in rum and wine for anywhere from days to months in preparation for Christmas dessert. Another name for black cake is, fruit cake. No matter the name, black cake is loaded with fiber and is among the Caribbean dessert elite.
Image source: https://www.alicaspepperpot.com/black-cake-caribbean-rum-soaked-fruit-cake/
Any of these fine Caribbean Christmas foods would be a wonderful addition to any of your Christmas day meals. Each is tasty and nutritious in their own right. Since these five dishes work so well with other dishes, it’s always a good idea to add salad or some cooked greens like callaloo to the holiday table as well. This will up your intake of leafy greens during the holiday. Though this holiday season is very different due to the state of the world this year, try to safely enjoy a special meal this December. May this Christmas be especially bright for you and your family. Merry Christmas from the Mo’s Motivational Health Club family to you and yours. Wishing you the best of health and happiness.