Destinations Magazine

Central America and Caribe Dishes and Recipes

By Romina Paoliza @lauratravel

In Central American cuisine highlights the use of corn, potato, sweet potato, cassava, black and red beans, beans, peanuts, squash, yams, squash, peppers, avocados, guava, cocoa, pineapple, beans, cherimoya, soursop, mamey, among many others apart from sugar cane and wheat, as well as meat and seafood, a lot of meat pork and all its derivatives, such as black pudding and sausages, such a clear Spanish influence, as we see the opposite of the Caribbean islands who prefer chicken.

The Central American cuisine becomes a delicious combination that is designed to meet the different tastes of the countries that comprise mixing native and indigenous food with European, African and Eastern where corn is the star of the Caribbean cuisine to prepare many recipes such as tamales, surullos, tacos, tortillas, pupusas, stews, soups, porridges and beverages, also rice and beans are staples in almost all cuisines of these countries.

A typical meal consists of homemade daily plate of rice and beans with some meat or fish stew, fried plantains and cabbage and tomato salad.

Below you can find recipes for foods from Central America and CAribe that you can prepare the best and most delicious dishes from Central America.

Ground Spices
Zepis – Epices

by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas

Many Haitians in the United States blend these spices together and use the mixture to enhance the flavors in many of their cooked dishes.

Servings: Makes 1 quart


1 garlic head, peeled
2 green bell peppers
2 onions
3 scallion sprigs
3 cilantro sprigs, leaves only
10 parsley sprigs, leaves only
½ cup oil (or water or 1 cup vinegar)
Grind all ingredients together in the blender and place in a 1-quart jar. Keep refrigerated.


Eggplants with Small Crabs
Polenta, Beans and Coconut

Cappuccino Rum Shakes
by Lady Darling

Yield: 2 servings


1 pint softened Coffee Ice Cream
3 oz. Chick Charney Rum, or your favorite light rum
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup whipped cream
unsweetened cocoa powder
cinnamon stick
In a blender, blend the ice cream, rum and ground cinnamon until smooth but still thick. Pour into 2 long stemmed glasses. Top drinks with whipped cream and garnish with cocoa powder and cinnamon stick.

Keshi Yena dish

A distinctiveness dish from Aruba. Keshi Yena is a highly spiced combination of chicken and peppers, capers, olives and tomatoes historically baked in a Gouda cheese “shell”. The cheese might were formerly ate up and the dish was a manner to apply the rind. today our recipe makes use of sliced Gouda to impart the cheese taste


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons sliced green olives
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1 teaspoon seeded, stemmed, minced habañero chile
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons capers
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 canned peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound cooked shredded chicken
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
1 whole (2-pound) Edam cheese

1 – Warmth the oil in a medium skillet. cook the onion, garlic, bell pepper and habañero till smooth, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Stir inside the olives, capers, parsley, raisins, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard and hen. cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly to keep away from burning the lowest. Season with salt and pepper to flavor. Cool to room temperature, then beat the eggs and stir in.

2 – Warmth the oven to 350 stages. cut the cheese into slices one-fourth inch thick. Line the lowest and facets of an eleven-inch x 11-inch (2 half of-quart) baking dish with -thirds of the slices. Spoon the filling over. cowl the pinnacle with the remaining cheese slices.

3 – Location the baking dish inside the oven and bake 40 mins, till the cheese is soft and golden brown.

4 – Serve warm with toasted French bread slices or tortillas.

keshi yena recipe dish

About Wijkie Maduro:
Wijkie Maduro, and Aruba-born resident, has made a life-long commitment to preservation and preparation of Aruban cooking. Wijkie retired from a career in politics and labor union work to open a restaurant, now sadly closed, that offered “what our great-grandmothers cooked; the lavish and sometimes complex Aruban cooking”. His recipes have been refined over the years from their earliest beginnings as sustenance for the first Indian settlers to the multi-everything-and-everyone’s influences that followed.

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