One of the most delicious aspects of visiting other countries is sampling cuisines, and since you won’t find a single fast food restaurant within Belize’s borders, you’ll have ample time to taste many styles of cookery throughout this culturally rich land. If you’re staying at Chabil Mar Belize Resort, don’t be surprised if you find yourself preferring the resort’s eclectic menu to other eateries in Placencia, but if you’re sticking around for the long haul, the following general observations about food will come in handy.
1. If you’re used to having plenty of supermarkets from which to choose, you may experience culture shock in Belize where ingredients needed for a recipe may not always be available on store shelves. No worries. Adopt the Belize mindset: learn to substitute and in the bargain, earn a reputation for being an innovative cook and baker. You will find “organic” products from local resources, so if you keep canned goods on hand to substitute for fresh ingredients that aren’t available you’ll always be prepared to make a meal.
2. Frequent local markets to get the freshest ingredients for your recipes and save your trips to large grocery stores for staples. Find the best local markets by asking people you meet where they shop in Placencia and then follow their lead. If you’re a frequent patron of Chabil Mar’s eateries on the days you decide not to cook, you can always ask the chef for recommendations—though he may not want to give his secrets away in the interest of getting you back to the Chabil Mar Café as frequently as possible!
>> Read also: The Top Ten Things To Taste In Belize
3. Be aware of the fact that Belize laws and regulations governing the use of pesticides don’t come close to the standards North Americans rely upon to scare away bugs, fungi and pests. One of the best ways to learn what’s in the foods you consume is to ask the grower when you shop at local markets, and while not every farmer may wish to disclose that information, it costs nothing to ask. Ensure your family’s health by taking the steps you would undertake, no matter where you live: thoroughly wash fresh foods with a brush to remove residues and you can also buy products on the Internet made for cleaning food if you require something stronger than water.
4. If dairy is an important part of your diet and you have no interest in owning a cow, follow the lead of people living in Belize and acquire a taste for powdered milk. Alternately, milk substitutes like almond, cashew and other plant-based dairy products may suffice if you can find them on grocery shelves. Can’t exist without “the real thing”? Turn to dairy farmers in Belize’s Mennonite communities. According to Wikipedia, there were 44 Mennonite communities in Belize in 2012, the largest of which are Shipyard, Spanish Lookout and Little Belize. Smaller sites include Blue Creek, Indian Creek, Barton Creek, Springfield and Pine Hill.
5. Make Café Mar your go-to dining destination for wining, dining and socializing on the nights and days you’re in no mood to cook. Local fisherman, farmers and purveyors provide chefs with the freshest ingredients, and frequent Café Mar beachside diners indulge all of their senses in an al fresco dining experience that offers a feeling of freedom under the Belize sky. If you prefer to take meals outside the Café, ask for poolside service, visit the Kaleidoscope Bar & Lounge or have a meal brought to you on your private veranda if you’re a guest. What observation will you make about the food after you discover just how delicious everything tastes when prepared Belize style?
Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.