Vacations to Caye Caulker are always going to be amazing and memorable, but beyond the list of “things to do” in lonely planet, what can really make a trip here unforgettable is to immerse yourself in a true local experience…..and one way you can do that is by eating like the locals do.
To begin your day off you can head to Glenda’s Restaurant on Back Street for some freshly baked Creole bread or cinnamons rolls for just US25c. Glenda’s is known for having the best bread on the island so when it opens at 7am the smell of bread cooking in the ovens draws in a crowd of locals, including lots of school kids and quite often everything is sold out by 8am! But never fear, they set some aside especially for the people who wake up a little later and come to dine in for breakfast. You can also pay a couple of dollars more for a side of eggs, beans, cheese or just some butter and jam. I promise you that after you go there for breakfast once you will definitely go back again!
For lunch many of the locals will opt for either tamales (a Mexican dish of seasoned meat or vegetables wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed in banana leaves) or dukunu (a dish made with sweetened starch, usually cornmeal but can also be sweet corn wrapped and boiled in aluminum foil or a banana leaf), which tastes a lot like creamed corn. Tamales cost roughly US$2.00 each and dukunu costs US50c each. You will know the people selling these tasty lunch meals because they will go back and forth down the streets yelling out their slogans which go something like this….”Hot tamales. Chicken, pork and vegetable tamales” and “ HHHOOttttttt dukunu. HHHOOttttttt dukunu”. You can’t miss them . And to wash your meal down we recommend you buy yourself a seaweed drink from the Seaweed Man. Now I know many of screwed up your faces at the sound of that but i promise you it is delicious (and very good for you) and it doesn’t taste like the sea . It is like a thick milkshake and comes in a range of flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, rum, brandy, peanut and coconut and costs just US$1.50 for a bottle. The Seaweed Man also has his own slogan simply yelling out “SeaWEED”, but don’t get confused because you may think that he is saying “sweet”.
So after a busy day working ( or exploring in your case) everybody needs a nice big dinner to fill them up and all the locals will tell you there is only one person to go and see for a good Belizean meal, and that person is Mama Rose! Mama Rose is renowned for her amazing home cooking including rice and beans with potato salad with either stew chicken, stew beef, stew pork or fried fish. A plate of food only costs US$4.00 and she gives you enough for two meals! Mama Rose takes her big pots of food through the streets on a cart and usually stops outside Oceanside. You will have no problem finding her because she generally has a crowd of locals gathered around her waiting to get served….and if you try her food you will understand why!
So if you are coming to visit Caye Caulker for the first time this year or if you are returning for another holiday make sure you try some of these foods that the locals here love, meals that you may not have known existed here otherwise, and expand you Belizean experience….Because there are lots of little secrets on this island waiting to be discovered by you .