Many international influences can be detected in the dishes that represent Bermuda's unique culinary style

Cooking With Culture

Long days spent exploring the local shops and museums or soaking up the gorgeous Atlantic surf and sun are bound to give vacationers a formidable appetite. Luckily, Bermuda has enough options to suit every palate. In fact, the culinary styles found on the island reflect its rich cultural heritage while managing to incorporate many pleasant – and some unexpected – international flavors.

In recent years, world-class gourmet chefs have begun to arrive on the island, and their skill is noted in the gourmet dishes served in Bermuda's newest upscale restaurants. Many of these establishments import spices, vegetables, and other fresh ingredients directly from Europe and the United States in order to complement local fare – a way to provide travelers with an intriguing blend of the familiar and the exotic.

Most travelers will be eager to sample the island's local fare. Seafood is a staple here, and local fishermen provide a great variety of regional fish including rockfish, Bermuda lobster (also known as “guinea chick”), and wahoo. Additionally, many of the dishes found on authentic Bermudian menus include shark as an ingredient.

Locals enjoy “Portuguese red bean soup,” an extremely spicy soup often served before meals. Another well-known national dish is “mussel pie,” which is filled with mussels, potatoes, bacon, onion, and papaya and seasoned with curry powder and thyme. Other dishes, such as wahoo steaks, are served with a side of “johnnycakes,” a type of bread made from cornmeal that has been seasoned and pan-cooked. Johnnycakes are also popular in the U.S. southeast. Other Bermudian favorites include fish chowder, an innovative version of the well-known soup; it is made with white fish and seasoned with black rum and sherry peppers to bring out the flavors and give the stew a distinctive twist. Potatoes and onions are two of the main vegetables grown on the island and feature prominently in many local dishes.

Not to be outdone by the food, the drinks on the island are also unique and flavorful. Rum is a major component of many of Bermuda's favorite mixed drinks, and is available in numerous varieties, including black rum (also called Demerara). One of the most popular island concoctions is a “rum swizzle,” a cocktail of rum, citrus juices, and club soda.

Visitors are usually pleasantly surprised by the wide range of foods offered throughout the region; the multicultural influences ensure that all visitors can find something they like. Enjoying the delicious fare that abounds here is the perfect way to end fun-and-sun-filled days in Bermuda.

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