What To Eat When You’re In…Antigua

9th August 2019

Previously, we told you about some of the delicious food options you can look forward to when you arrive in Barbados, and now it’s time to consider the menus in Antigua. The Caribbean, in general, makes good use of the rich seas around the islands and the exotic fruits that grow in the region, but each country has its own distinct dishes and flavours.

So, here are a few things to get you knife and fork into when you take one of our Caribbean cruises to Antigua.

Succulent Seafood

Conch Shell

Saltfish and Fungi

Where better to start than something which is often considered to be Antigua’s national dish. The two elements come together to create a mixture of textures and a fresh, flavourful plate of food. Saltfish can refer to any white fish (commonly ling) that is cured with salt and then flaked. This is paired with something that is extremely versatile in the form of fungi (pronounced fun-jee), a paste made from okra and cornmeal which is then rolled into balls.

What seems like a hearty evening meal is more likely to be consumed at breakfast time, especially on Sunday mornings after church.

Conch

You may have seen those big shells that wash up on Caribbean beaches and add to the paradisiacal aesthetic. Well, those are known as conchs and are used to create a very popular seafood dish in Antigua.

The snail inside is removed and chopped up before being cooked into curries, stews and even fritters. Whilst slightly chewy, the flavour has been compared to that of clams and is an unmistakable reminder of the relationship the locals have with the sea.

Meaty Mains

Goat Curry

Goat Water

Seafood is not all you’ll find on the menu though, as there are many delicious dishes that use meat such as beef, pork, chicken or, in this case, goat. The term water is used to describe stews and soups that are nowhere near as thin as their name makes them sounds. This example sees the goat stewed with other ingredients like cinnamon and cloves to create a hearty dish that’s rumoured to naturally increase libido.

Pepperpot

Another dish touted as the nation’s favourite, pepperpot is an amalgamation of meat and vegetables that is thought to have been brought to the country by early inhabitants called Arawaks. The vegetables used can vary but squash and aubergine are usually in there, along with salted beef, garlic and pickled pork. Just like saltfish, it is typically served with a side of fungi.

Supreme Sides

Johnny Cakes

Ducana

In Antigua, there are a number of versatile side dishes that can be added to many meals to give them a different flavour or to suit a certain occasion. The most widely seen of these is ducana, a sweet and spicy accompaniment to saltfish or conch. It’s prepared by grating sweet potato, combining it with coconut and then steaming the mixture inside a banana leaf. The resulting consistency is something similar to a Chinese dumpling.

Johnny Cake

Although they sound more like a dessert, johnny cakes definitely deserve their place in the sides section of our list. Originally from America, these deep-fried dumplings are similar in texture to doughnuts and are another ideal chaperon for saltfish at breakfast.

Antigua Black Pineapple

The Antigua Black Pineapple is thought to be the sweetest variety of this fruit in the world and even makes into onto Antigua’s coat of arms, thus highlighting the affinity the locals have with its amazing flavour. Eaten on their own as a snack or served alongside other meals to help balance the sweet and savoury flavours, the black pineapples can thank Antigua’s climate and soil for its unique taste.

Susie’s Hot Sauce

Although this isn’t a dish that you’ll order in a restaurant, it would be wrong to write a list of food to try in Antigua without mentioning Susie’s Hot Sauce, especially as you’re going to see it practically everywhere you go. It’s rare that one brand has such a monopoly on the market, but Susie sure has the condiment scene tied up on this Caribbean island. The food here can often be quite hot anyway, but you’ll see locals and brave tourists dousing their meals in this fiery relish to give it even more of a kick.


If you would like to learn more about our Caribbean cruises that stop in Antigua, contact the Star Clippers team on 0845 200 6145. You can also speak to us via our online chat.

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