Caribbean food is delicious, popular—and subject too many myths that people mistakenly believe about this unique and amazing cuisine. Caribbean food is more popular than ever thanks to an ever-expanding amount of restaurants opening outside the Caribbean—there are even Caribbean restaurants in Maryland and other places where you would least expect to taste fragrant, authentic Jamaican and Caribbean dishes.
Yet despite the growing popularity of Caribbean food restaurants near me, there’s still no end in sight for the many food myths people believe about this type of cuisine. If you’re ready to leave the most common myths about Caribbean behind and head to the local Caribbean restaurant near me with your newfound knowledge tucked safely in your mind, read on to bust the 4 most common myths about Caribbean food.
Myth #1: Caribbean food is super spicy
One of the most common myths about Carib bean food is that it is–in general–super spicy. While there are some dishes in Caribbean cuisine that have a kick, Caribbean cuisine in general relies on a variety of well-rounded spices that provide a full body of flavor, not hot pepper spices such as jalapenos and habaneros. Some popular dishes like jerk chicken can be spicy but unless otherwise stated, the “default” version of jerk kitchen will be mildly spicy with the potential to be kicked up a notch (or two, or three!) depending on the diner’s request.
Myth #2: Carib bean food isn’t healthy
This myth has probably come about because of the prominence of sweet Caribbean desserts that tend to be heavy on the sugar and starches. But even popular Caribbean desserts tend to rely more on natural sugars—such as the natural sugars found in pineapple and sweet yams—rather than added sugars, which are the unhealthy sugars that people want to minimize in their diets.
As a whole, Caribbean food tends to rely on natural, fresh ingredients such as vegetables and chicken along with rice or similar starches. The exact nutritional content can vary from dish to dish, but as a whole, Caribbean island cuisine is fairly healthy since it tends to avoid processed ingredients that are high in added sugars, added fats and added sodium in favor of natural ingredients.
Myth #3: Caribbean food can’t be vegetarian or vegan
One of the more prevalent myths about Carib bean food is that it’s off limits for vegans or even vegetarians, who will either need to stay home from restaurants or resort to picking at plain rice when they’re out with friends. This is a strange myth that probably has its roots in the popularity of meat-based dishes like jerk chicken, jerk beef and a variety of meat-based Caribbean curries.
But Caribbean food can certainly be vegetarian or vegan and in fact, more than 50% of the most common authentic Caribbean dishes are “naturally” vegetarian or vegan without any need to swap out ingredients.
Some of the most popular ingredients in Caribbean dishes include vegetables and fruits such as cabbage, cauliflower, red peas, bananas, guava, mangos, apples–along with vegetarian and vegan friendly ingredients such as herbs and rice.
In addition to this, if you head out to a modern Caribbean restaurant, many chefs may offer vegetarian or vegan variations on their recipes, including tofu and other meat substitutes.
Myth #4: You can’t get food Caribbean food outside of the Caribbean
This is one of the most stubborn myths about Caribbean food, and it’s a myth which has led many people to give up on their search to find Caribbean food restaurants near me.
The idea that you can’t find great Carib bean food unless you’re in the actual Caribbean is a complete myth: there are countless delicious Caribbean restaurants in the USA alone, including Caribbean restaurants in Maryland that offer some of the most delicious and authentic Caribbean and Jamaican food that you’ll find anywhere else.
So if you’re craving Carib bean food, don’t think that you have to go all the way to the Caribbean to enjoy it! Start looking for a great Caribbean restaurant near me and enjoy a great lunch or dinner with some of the most flavorful and memorable Caribbean dishes that the restaurant has to offer.