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Belize - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Belizean Cuisine HistoryEdit

[[Image:||right|thumb|]] Belize is a Central American Republic situated in the northeaster Central America. Belize borders Mexico to north and northeast, Caribbean Sea to east and Guatemala to south and east. Belize’s territory was disputed between United Kingdom and Guatemala until 1981 when it gained independent. Belizean cuisine is one of the most varied and it combines Caribbean, Mexican, Spanish and Malay cuisines. The basis of Belizean cuisine is provided by rice and beans cooked with coconut milk and bathed with gravy from stewed meat. The Belizean cuisine is based on some precise ingredients such as beans, rice, tomatoes, chilies and exotic fruits. The tomatoes are essential for the salsas and the dips, used for the fish meals or the Beef ones. Chilies are utilized both dried and fresh and they are found in a wide range: chipotle, haberano, mulato, cascabel or serrano. The exotic fruits are used for garnishes, sauces or desserts: the coconuts, papayas, pineapples or bananas.

Cuisines of Belize Edit

Map of Belize

Map of Belize- Click to enlarge

Belize cuisine varies from north to south. In the north region Belizean cuisine is very similar to Mexican cuisine and it has borrowed various ingredients from their northern neighbors such as the assortments for the fish like memey, guanabana or cherimoya. In the southern region the dishes are more similar to Spanish cuisine which offered their delightful ingredients like nuts, diverse spices, cocoa and seeds. The best sauce for the seafood is the Belizean hot sauce, which is also added to Chicken or Pork. Belizean cuisine offers a large variety of seafood such as lobster, shrimps served with a variety of breads like coconut bread, cassava bread or carrot coconut bread. There are numerous dishes served with rice and beans such as stuffed baked Chicken, stew Chicken, stew fish, fried fish or meat balls. Other delicious dishes include pawpaw bread, guava cheese, fresh corn tortillas, sweet potato, and breadfruit.

Preparation Methods for Belizean Cooking Edit

Belize cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Belize cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Belize cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Belize is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Belize’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Belize dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Belizean Cooking Edit

In Belize cuisine there are various cooking utensils ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Belize cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Belize dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Belize food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal.

Belizean Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

In Belize there are held a wide variety of festivals and holidays. Public holidays include Independence Day(September 21), Saint George’s Cay Day(September 10), Garifuna Day(November 19), National Day (September 10), Baron Bliss Day (march 9th), Easter Monday, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day and Commonwealth Day (May 24). On traditional holidays and festivals people in Belize serve traditional food such as rice and beans with grilled sausages. Other traditional dishes served on holidays and festivals are stewed hicatee, sorrasee and corned fish.

People in Belizean Food Edit

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Numerous chefs from Belize creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Belize dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Belize chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Belize chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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