Caribbean Pantry Cooking Essentials

Now Larimar Punta Cana, Now Jade and Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun offers guests unlimited gourmet dining with cuisine from around the world while staying true to their Caribbean roots.  The chefs use several locally grown produce and spices found in the Dominican Republic and the Mexican Caribbean.

Grab key ingredients that are used in the Caribbean to create dishes with the essence of region.  Below we broke down the stables in Caribbean cooking so you can enjoy the flavors at home!

Plantains- This popular fruit, a distant cousin to the banana, can be used for desserts or the main dish. They are intended to be cooked rather than eaten raw. The color of the skin helps to determine how ripe it is and that will determine the use of the plantain. For sweet desserts, the skin must be black.

Callaloo – This leafy green vegetable resembles spinach and historically is said to have a magical property casting love spells on those who eat it. Boil it and serve it as a side dish or mix it into a favorite stew recipe.

Scotch Bonnet Peppers – This little pepper packs a powerful flavor! These colorful peppers are spicier than a jalapeno so use with caution!  They rank 9 out of 10 according to the Scoville chart. Bonnet peppers are the perfect addition to a gumbo, soup or salsa.

Cassava – This bitter root vegetable is a staple crop for most Caribbean islands. The cassava tuber contains cyanide and must be cooked before it is consumed. Traditional the tubers are grated, washed and then pressed into a paste. The paste is then used as a glaze or to make popular cassava bread.

Coconuts- These nutrient-rich fruits are very versatile and can be used for a variety of recipes. The sweet milk is perfect to include in a rum punch or other favorite tropical drink.

Allspice- This is actually a fruit from the allspice tree also known as the pimento tree. Once it’s dried, the spice resembles peppercorns and has the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pepper.

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