Antigua and Barbuda, an independent state under the British Commonwealth, is a place of white sandy beaches, celebrity hideaways, and exotic birds. Like many other countries in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda were originally inhabited by native Amerindians, then Europeans and Africans. The English colonized the islands in the 17th century, and independence came in 1981.
Antigua, the more densely populated of the two islands, is also the cultural hub. Barbuda has just over a thousand people and is the rugged little brother of Antigua. Both islands, however, boast rich, fertile soil that allows for a variety of fruits and vegetables to grow. On the west side, the Caribbean Sea splashes the islands’ shores, and on the east, the Atlantic Ocean dampens the sands. The temperate salt water that surrounds the islands provides an impressive collection of delicious sea creatures.
With the local ingredients, like those of surrounding nations, Antiguans and Barbudans make exquisite dishes. Fungie and pepperpot, the national dish, is basically like polenta with a stew made with meat, chili peppers, and spices. Some of the other mouthwatering meals of the islands include: conch fritters, seasoned rice, saltfish, macaroni pie, bread pudding, and scalloped potatoes. For dessert, sweets that use fresh fruits and coconut are common –Creole coconut tart, sugarcake, and papaya pie are popular, tasty treats.
Of course, what would a nation in the Caribbean be without their drinks? Fruit juice and coconut milk are the norm, and local beer (Wadadli is the most popular, but Red Stripe, Carib, and Guinness are also produced there) and rum (English Harbour Rum) play an important role in their cuisine.
Have you ever been to Antigua and Barbuda? If so, what was your favourite part of the cuisine?