Latest News from Antigua and Barbuda
TASTE OF EXOTIC FOR THE EVERYDAY GOURMET
ANTIGUA, West Indies -- Antiguan cuisine is first-class all the way, from casual to creative, West Indian zest melds with international fare to create a mélange of tastes for every palate. Dining in Antigua is about being relaxed, taking in the harbor view before a breakfast of extra-sweet Antigua black pineapple, making time for a traditional high-tea, and perusing through an international wine list before dinner. In Antigua, dining is certain to be an unforgettable pleasure.
Antiguan cuisine reflects the island’s rich cultural heritage. Expect spicy Creole dishes to rub shoulders with traditional English fare, along with culinary influences from the four corners of the globe. Fresh spiny lobster, conch, oysters and red snapper dishes encompass all the flavors of the Caribbean, and, seafood lovers will delight in the many raw bars scattered along the island’s coastline.
A favorite “sweet n’ salty” entree is a delectable dish known as duccana, a savory mixture of grated sweet potato, pumpkin puree, coconut, cornmeal, sugar and spices which are steamed in banana leaves and served as an accompaniment to a tomato-based salt fish stew.
The specialty dish of Antiguan cuisine is known simply as: goat water. Don’t be steered away by the name -- this native dish is mouth-watering. A spicy stew seasoned with hot peppers, cloves and cinnamon, it is known to have people coming back for more. Most every restaurant or roadside stand serving goat water prides itself on their own special recipe. The stews vary, but all are invariably hearty and full of flavor. And, as it is a local staple, is always reasonably priced.
Last, but certainly not least, Antiguans are especially proud of their national dish, known as 'fungi and pepperpot', a thick vegetable stew made with yam, squash, okra, eggplant, dasheen leaves (similar to spinach), plantains, and pumpkin, served with salted meat and fried cornmeal dumplings. Of course, all these great dishes must be washed down with something thirst quenching….
HO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF RUM…
The West Indies rum industry has a long history, having developed in conjunction with the growth of sugar plantations in the early 17th century. Traders used rum profits to buy slaves in Africa; the slaves were then sold in the West Indies to work the sugar plantations for cargos of molasses that eventually were distilled into New England rum.
Rum production in Antigua today has come a long way since the era when the first rums produced were concocted by individuals making home brews from molasses. In the 1950s, Antigua’s very own Cavalier produced its first rum; a full-bodied aged rum called Cavalier Muscovado Rum. In the 1960s Cavalier Antigua Rum, a lighter-bodied rum, was born. Today, Cavalier is a staple in most rum-punches and rum-based cocktails served around the island. It’s a great gift idea to take home from a vacation in Antigua and Barbuda.
For something a bit less potent, the island also brews its own ice-cold beer, Wadadli. The brewery’s flagship product is a pale lager named after the Antiguan word for beer.
Popular travel host and foodie, Rachel Ray, visited Antigua for her Food Network television show ‘$40 a Day’ and featured many local eateries such as The Mad Mongoose, Caribbean Taste and Trappas.
Some other favorite island restaurants are:
- “the beach” restaurant on Dickenson Bay is a popular spot day and night, offering everything from traditional pizzas to modern fusion cuisine as well as sushi and sashimi dishes. (www.bigbanana-antigua.com/beach.html)
- The Home uses only the freshest ingredients to create authentic West Indian dishes that include local fish, fruit and vegetables, plus herbs from their own garden. (www.thehomerestaurant.com)
- The Sticky Wicket is a great spot to relax and catch the latest news on Antigua and Barbuda’s favorite pastime, cricket. Try the barbecued beef brisket, pork, chicken and ribs. (www.thestickywicket.com)
Le Bistro in Hodges Bay is exceptional by any standards, mixing French chic with Caribbean zesty flavors. (www.lebistro-antigua.com)
- The Pavilion Antigua has the air of a grand colonial estate, set atop a hillside and lush foliage in northeastern Antigua, near the airport. The restaurant serves delectable contemporary Continental and French Creole cuisine. (www.thepavilionantigua.com)
- The Cove Restaurant at Boon’s Point has spectacular cliff-peak views and tantalizing dishes, from roast rack of lamb to tiger shrimp kabobs. (www.thecove-antigua.com)
The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism would like to remind travelers of new passport requirements: Beginning January 8, 2007, the U.S. Department of State will require all U.S. citizens traveling via air or sea to present a valid passport for travel and re-entry into the United States. For information on obtaining a U.S. passport, visit the U S Passport Services Web site: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html or contact the U.S National Passport Information Center, (877) 487-2778.
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