The weather isn't the only thing that's hot down in the Caribbean. Caribbean cuisine is definitely tropical, seasoned, hot and spicy. The region's culinary flavor is as diverse as it is bold, which isn't surprising considering the amount of islands that make up the Caribbean, as well as it's history. Caribbean cuisine is a mixture of culinary influences, including African, French, Spanish, Indian and Dutch. In the Caribbean it's a blend of people. Each Caribbean island shares some dishes in common, and each has developed dishes that are unique to their particular island.
In Aruba you can feast on Indonesian-style rijstaffel, a popular Dutch meal consisting of numerous small dishes; Puerto Rico boasts Spanish-influenced asopao, meat- or seafood-and-rice stew similar to paella; and you can sample traditional French Creole Cuisine, blood sausage, in Martinique.
On a Trinidadian Sunday when they are about to enjoy a smoked herring, saltfish buljol or accra breakfast they often contemplate what type of bakes should they choose to accompany their fish dishes? Whether it's the coconut roast bake, the roast bake without the coconut, fried bakes, or yeasted fried bakes, better known as float.
Whatever their choice, bakes are certainly a foundation in Trini cuisine. Ackee and Saltfish is Jamaica's national dish, eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Ackee is a bright red, mild-tasting fruit that is toxic when underripe, so it's never eaten before it's fully ready. Jamaicans soak the saltfish in water, then boil and shred it. They saute the ackee with garlic, onions and peppers and serve with the fish, a perfect balance between the fruit's mildness and the cod's saltiness. St. Vincent and the Grenadines also has a unique cuisine, which consists of blending various tropical delights. Their common dishes are: Pig-foot Souse, roti and pumpkin soup.