Belizean cuisine is extremely varied and it combines Caribbean, Mexican, Spanish and Mayan 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. Chilies utilize 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 and include coconuts, papayas, pineapples or bananas.
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. 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, shrimp served with a variety of breads such as coconut bread, cassava bread or carrot coconut bread. Numerous dishes are served with rice and beans.
Attention to detail is important in the Belize cuisine. Using the right amount of spices is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, with an emphasis placed on a balance between colors and proportion. 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.