Most LGBT travelers arrive in Belize without knowing what to expect when it comes to the food. The good news is that Belize is a melting pot society where culinary influences from different cultures have combined to make Belizean food incredibly savory and delicious.
If you’re coming to Belize, here are five foods you absolutely must try:
In Belize, seafood is caught daily by local fisherman using traditional methods. In most cases, the fish you eat in a restaurant for dinner was caught that very same morning. Belizean seafood also includes conch and lobster. In order to protect marine species, lobster season begins in June, making summertime absolutely the best time to enjoy some amazing seafood in Belize.
Rice and Beans
Every Caribbean and Central American country relies on rice and beans as a staple dish, and you’ll find it served in most Belizean homes. But in Belize, rice and beans has its own national twist. Rice and beans in Belize are often served with stew(ed) chicken that has been flavored with local spices as well as a heaping helping of Marie Sharp’s own line of hot sauces. Marie Sharp is an award-winning hot sauce maker based right in Belize.
No one’s ever going to tell you fry jacks are healthy, but they sure are delicious. Soft, pillowy triangles of fried dough, fry jacks are extremely popular for breakfast where they’re often paired with eggs and/or meat. As they say in Belize, nobody can ever eat just one fry jack!
There are many people of Mexican descent in Belize, so it’s no surprise that tamales are a popular dish. But tamales in Belize are a bit different because they’re not cooked in corn husks. Instead, Belizean tamales are filled with chicken and a Mayan red sauce called cull (or “col” sometimes). They’re then wrapped in plantain leaves and slowly steamed until hot, tender, and delicious.
If you’re looking for the perfect street food, then you’ve definitely got to try salbutes. Originally from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, salbutes in Belize are a soft, puffy tortilla that’s topped with avocado, chicken, tomato, and pickled red onion. Salbutes are a great snack to eat when paired with ice cold beer or a soft drink on a warm summer evening.