Top 8 ‘Must-Try’ foods in Belize

Published on July 16, 2020

When looking to vacation in Belize you might be unsure of various things, one of them may be the food. Here in Belize, we have a ‘melting pot of cultures’ which extends to the kitchen making our food and dishes a unique taste of Belize. Belize’s culinary is probably the most diverse and delicious one you can find in the entire world.

When you are in Belize, here are the top 8 foods you need to try:

1. Rice and Beans

This is probably Belize’s national dish as without a doubt it is the most abundant meal in the country. Every family has its own way of preparation, but it all starts with the basics of rice and Red Kidney beans with coconut milk. This dish is usually served for lunch or dinner and its paired with stew chicken, fry ripe plantains, and salad to create a true taste of Belize.

Rice and Beans

2. Fry Jacks

Belize’s puffy fry jacks are known for creating a smile in your tummy! Fry jacks are a traditional dish in the Belizean cuisine. They are deep-fried flour dough pieces served as a breakfast item and can be shaped like circles or triangles. This deliciousness is paired with refried beans, sausage, bacon, and eggs.

Fry Jacks

3. Tamales

Tamales is another traditional dish made of corn dough (masa) which is filled with seasoned meat (chicken or pork) then steamed or boiled in plantain or banana leaves. Tamales have been traced back to the Ancient Maya people, who prepared them for feasts as early as the Pre-Classic period (1200–250 BC). Here in Belize, they’re a dish from the Maya and Mestizo Culture.


4. Ceviche

Ceviche is the ultimate Belizean appetizer that is gaining popularity around the world. The seafood of your choice (Conchs, shrimp, or lobster) is marinated in lime juice with onions, garlic, habanero peppers, and other ingredients, thereafter, you allowed it to sit for a while. Each cook adds its twist to it to make a tasty dish. However, the best Belizean ceviche is made with fresh raw conch and there’s nothing better than enjoying it with some fresh homemade corn chips and a Belikin Beer on a hot, sunny day.

Conch Ceviche

5. Panades

These delectable snacks are also another great options for lunch when in Belize.  Panades is a deep-fried corn tortilla folded in half with smoked fish filling, beans, chicken, or cheese. They are usually topped with ‘Cortido’ which is a sauce made from White Vinegar, Onions, Salt, and Haberneros. This sauce gives each panadas the balancing fried flavor with an acidic spice.


6. Chimole

Chimole is another traditional dish served in Belize and is also known as “Black Dinner” because of its dark appearance. Ingredients include spices and some black recado (achiote paste, a blend of spices commonly used in Maya cuisine) in block pieces. The dark soup consists of chicken, boiled eggs, and vegetables. This dish was first known by Mestizos, but with Belize’s vast cultural diversity, most Belizeans are making it in their homes and for special occasions.


7. Salbutes 

Salbutes are one of Belize’s most popular snack foods. They are tiny fried corn tortillas that are topped with a delicious mix of cabbage, chicken, avocado, chicken, and locally-made hot sauce.


8. Cochinita Pibil

Traditional Cochinita Pibil involves slow cooking in a banana-leaf-wrapped-pig in a smoldering pit lined with stones. The pig would have previously been marinated, and after, the pig is allowed to cook in its juices and marinade for hours in the ground. The resulting meat falls apart easily and has a rich seasoned flavor. Often it’s enjoyed simply, with pickled onions and corn tortillas. Often, this pig-roasted-in-a-pit is a part of a big celebration like a wedding or a family get-together.

Cochinita Pibil

One thing for sure that we can guarantee is that after tasting these delicious dishes you will fall in love with Belize even more. As the Premiere Tour Company in Belize, Untame Belize also helps visitors plan an unforgettable vacation to Belize, from tours, lodging to transportation from the Philip Goldson International Airport.

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