The cuisine of The Islands of The Bahamas is never, ever bland. Spicy, subtly and uniquely flavoured with local meats and produce, more than any other cuisine in the Caribbean, Bahamian cooking has been influenced by the American South. Although virtually every type of international food can be found in The Bahamas, you won't have any difficulty finding restaurants serving Bahamian cuisine and fresh local seafood at reasonable prices.
Seafood is the staple of the Bahamian diet. Conch (pronounced 'konk') is a large type of ocean mollusc that has firm, white, peach-fringed meat. Fresh, uncooked conch is delicious; the conch meat is scored with a knife, and lime juice and spices are sprinkled over it. It can also be deep fried (which is called 'cracked conch'), steamed, added to soups, salads and stews, or made into conch chowder (soup) and conch fritters. The Bahamian 'rock lobster' is a spiny variety without claws that is served broiled, minced or in salads. Other delicacies include boiled or baked land crabs, which can often be seen running across the roads after dark.
Fresh fish is also a major part of Bahamian cuisine - a popular brunch is boiled fish served with grits which is often the most delicious way to enjoy a fresh catch. Stew fish, made with celery, onions, tomatoes and various spices, is another local speciality. Many dishes are accompanied by pigeon peas and rice (the famous peas 'n' rice served throughout the Caribbean), along with spices, tomatoes and onions. Peas also feature prominently in the wide array of fragrant Bahamian soups: pea soup with dumplings and salt beef, and the familiar split pea and ham soup are just two of the many pea-based broths. One soup unique to the Caribbean and The Bahamas is souse (pronounced 'sowse'). Its only ingredients are water, onions, lime juice, celery, peppers and meat - no thickeners are added. The meat added to a souse is often chicken, sheep's tongue, oxtail or pigs' feet - giving the souse a delicious, rich flavour.
Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are a highly developed speciality of The Islands of The Bahamas; bars pride themselves on their own special concoctions of rum punch, the main being the Bahama Mama. Kalik, the beer of The Islands of The Bahamas, is unusually light and wheaty and is served well chilled to wash away the heat of the day. The Bahamian refresher of choice is coconut water (not the heavier, fattier coconut milk) blended with sweet milk and gin. There is also a drink called Switcher, made with local limes; those who have had it swear that it tastes better than any other citrus drink.
See where to dine by Island by clicking on the links below