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Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, Aruba beckons not only with its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, but also with a vibrant and diverse culinary scene. Beyond its stunning landscapes, this island paradise offers a rich tapestry of flavors that reflect its cultural influences and history. From fresh seafood infused with local spices to international gourmet delights, Aruban food is a reflection of its warm and welcoming spirit.
In this article, we delve into the delectable world of Aruban cuisine, exploring its unique dishes, traditional ingredients, and the blend of cultures that make it a culinary haven in the Caribbean. So, to help you prepare and plan for your trip to the island, here are ten dishes you must indulge in when you visit Aruba.
Perhaps the most apparent food to try while on the island is the fish and seafood. In the Caribbean Sea, some of the most amazingly fresh seafood can be found. Take your pick between mahi-mahi, grouper, lionfish, prawn, or red snapper if you’re looking for a simple dish to try.However, the options go on forever.
This bread is usually on the side of every main dish served on the island, and with good reason. Pan Bati is a sweet flatbread that dissolves in your mouth. Although it is prepared with simple ingredients, it is far from being dull in flavor.
Stews and Soups
Many of the local eateries and restaurants serve traditional Aruban stews and soups. Usually, the stews are full of chicken, fish, or goat meat, although you can still find soups and stews made with beef or lamb as we make it here in the states.
Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer
Although it isn’t food, the local beer is worth a shot. Balashi is the most popular beer on the island, but there are a ton of delicious choices.
Dried fruit and cashews adorn this delectable dish of steamed beef wrapped in a banana leaf.That’s not all you get, though. There are a ton of ingredients used to create this unique, mouthwatering Venezuelan dish.
This authentic Aruban meal is a must-try! It includes a ball of cheese stuffed with meat or poultry that is spiced to perfection. Anywhere you go on the tropical island, you will find aunique and off-beat version of this dish.
Funchi and Banana Hash
This combo is certainly one that packs a lot of tasty flavors! Funchi is fried cornmeal mush, often served with gouda and a side of fried plantains.
Pastechi is a portion of famous Aruban street food. You can find it offered by most street food vendors, and all of them claim to make it best. No matter where you get it, you don’t want to miss out on this gouda filled pastry.
Authentic Aruban Desserts
Pudding is a big deal in Aruba. You must order a helping of Pan Bollo (bread pudding with Ponche cream or rum, and ice cream) or Bolo di Banana (plantain pudding).
Hot Papaya Sauce
Often served on the side of meals, hot papaya sauce is the perfect addition to a meal if you can stand the sweet heat of papaya fruit mashed with hot peppers.
Aruban food is a testament to the island’s identity and the fusion of cultures that have shaped it over the centuries. From the tantalizing aromas of local food stalls to the upscale dining establishments, every culinary experience in Aruba tells a story. The flavors of its indigenous ingredients and the influences of the Arawak heritage, European colonization, and global trade come together to create a symphony of tastes that resonate with every palate.
As you indulge in Aruba’s culinary offerings, you not only savor delicious bites but also embark on a journey through the island’s history and heritage. So, whether you’re a food enthusiast or a curious traveler, exploring Aruba’s cuisine promises a gastronomic adventure that will leave a lasting impression.
It doesn’t matter what restaurants or cafes you choose to visit while in Aruba, but make sure you don’t leave without indulging in some of the Aruban foods mentioned on this list! They are by far some of the greatest, tastiest options on the island.
If you would like more information on the most popular restaurants and places to go, please don’t hesitate to send over an email with your inquiries or schedule a complimentary consultation to start planning your next vacation.