When it comes to making traditional Caribbean cuisine, you have to get the right combination of ingredients, spices, flavors, cooking style, and atmosphere in order to make it truly authentic. Because Chef Rob has a Caribbean background as well as a background with the Culinary Institute of America, he is able to bring traditional dishes to life with satiating flavors and textures, without compromising their authenticity. For this reason, we have become Sandy Springs’ first choice for a Caribbean restaurant, and everything we do is aimed at making every meal you have with us a spectacular one.
Ingredients You’ll See in Authentic Caribbean Food
Rice: Rice is an essential element to almost any Caribbean dish, in part because it is so receptive to the liberal use of spices used in each dish. It is often seen paired with black beans to create a tasteful base for a wide variety of fruits, seafood, sauces, and more. In this way, rice offers a versatile side dish to almost any main course.
Peppers: Whether we are talking about hot or sweet, Caribbean cuisine is fused with the vibrant, exotic tastes that peppers bring to the table.
Sweet Potatoes and Yams: Because these are both indigenous to the region, you may see sweet potatoes and yams used in a variety of traditional Caribbean foods.
Beans: Used both whole and ground, you’ll see beans in many authentic stews, soups, and side dishes.
Meats: Heavily seasoned and marinated, the meats used in traditional Caribbean cuisine are generally no different than the ones you see elsewhere, apart from their distinct island flavor.
The Spices of Traditional Caribbean Cuisine
The distinct flavors and plethora of Caribbean spices are perhaps one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the cuisine. Our kitchen is a explosion of colors and scents, with an enormous selection of ground spices such as:
Chili Pepper: The natives of the Caribbean were known to have first used chili peppers to make their food hot and spicy.
Garlic: This is a universal spice, used in several cultures for its ability to enhance the flavor of other spices.
Allspice: Known as “Jamaica pepper,” this spice is made from unripe fruits that are native to the Caribbean islands. The British termed it “allspice” due to its flavor resembling a combination of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
Annatto: Also native to the Caribbean, annatto is bright red-orange in color and tastes like a unique mixture of pepper and nutmeg.
Nutmeg: Blending perfectly with both allspice and annatto, nutmeg is native to the island of Grenada and adds even more flavor to traditional Caribbean cuisine.
Hot Pepper: While nutmeg, allspice, and annatto add subtle sweet and peppery flavors, the addition of spicy flavors from hot peppers is what gives Caribbean food its kick.
The Tastes of the Caribbean
When people first think of Caribbean food, they think of jerk chicken and an island breeze. What gives the food this unique impression is the remarkable blend of sweet and spicy that only comes from island cuisine. By blending the sweet flavors of pineapple, yams, mangos, and other fruits with the spices above, you get a distinct, savory taste you’ll want to have again and again. Stop by our Caribbean restaurant in Sandy Springs today and try it for yourself!