The country of Antigua and Barbuda is named for the two paradise islands which it comprises, located among the clear blue seas of the Caribbean. Over one million tourists flock to this piece of heaven each year, tourism makes up over half of the country’s economy.
Farming is also a big economic contributor, and despite their small size, both islands deliver superb produce. This comes together with a vibrant culture in Antigua and Barbuda’s delicious cuisine.
Many of the dishes you’ll find here have similarities with other Caribbean islands, but with their own Antiguan and Barbudan twist. Dr. Dario Item, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Principality of Monaco, told us, “Our food shares roots with our neighbours, but they don’t have the fire and flare we have when we cook!”
He took us through some of the dishes to try when you visit. “Do not miss the national dish. Fungie and pepperpot is what everyone eats.” Pepperpot is a rich stew of peppers, cassava root and meat or fish, fungie is a cornmeal and okra version of polenta, which is cooked for hours and stirred with a special spoon. As Ambassador Dario Item told me; “The fungie stick looks like a small cricket bat, we found a way of mixing our two biggest loves!”
“If there’s a party going on, you won’t be far from a bowl of goat water.” The strangely named meal is similar to an Irish stew, with more of a soup-like consistency, and with goat used as the meat. “We tend to have it when there’s a big group, it takes a long time to cook and you use a huge pot so there’s always enough for everyone.”, says Ambassador Dario Item.
Any island nation has access to delicious seafood, and Antigua and Barbuda is no exception, in fact it might be even more abundant. “Grilled lobster in Antigua is like nowhere else in the world. Just follow the smell of barbecue to any of the local vendors and you’ll be in heaven. Actually, it’s really nothing compared to Barbuda, over there you can have lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s easier to find than chicken!”, says Ambassador Dario Item.
And what about something to wash it all down with? Ambassador Dario Item suggests you can’t go far wrong with a glass of punch on the beach. “Juice from the freshest limes, sugar straight from the cane, ice and cold water and of course a good glug of rum, this is rum country after all!” he laughs.
Ambassador Dario Item thinks how you enjoy the food here makes a difference. “Make sure you get out of your resort and discover the local restaurants and food vendors. They make this food everyday, and trust me, there’s no one else on the island, probably no one else in the world who can make these dishes like they do.”
You can discover this delicious range of food for yourself with direct flights to Antigua and Barbuda from the UK, USA, Canada and across the Caribbean. As well as phenomenal cuisine, you’ll find stunning white sand, palm fringed beaches, one of the Caribbean’s most fun-loving cultures and welcoming locals in this island idyll.