Insider Tips for the Markets in Belize


 We spoke to the staff at Ka’ana to learn about their best kept secrets about the hidden treasures found at the markets in Belize. Easily accessible through a short drive from Ka’ana, you will learn about and experience one of a kind treats and fruits you’ve never even heard of! Read on to learn more.

Belize is famous for a number of unique and tasty fruits. A roundup of our favorites include papaya, star fruit and prickly pears. Papayas can be found in Belize all year round which, lucky for us, can be enjoyed in raw form, in a salad, or fresh pressed in a juice any time. They taste sweet, like cantaloupe and are rich in a reddish orange color.

Star fruit, which tastes sweet or tart depending on the variety, may be eaten whole or used in salads, desserts or a a garnish. You can easily sample the star fruit or any other fruit cut fresh at the local stands of the markets before you buy it.

Prickly pears are a native plant of Belize. Their flavor can evoke watermelon, citrus, or strawberry depending on the variety. The fruit can be consumed in a number of ways including eaten raw, or in the form of liqueur, syrup, jellies, preserved, candy, in cocktails and salad dressing. You can also try drinking its juice as a preventative measure against hangovers. However, remember that this plant is from the cactus family, so please be careful when cutting the pear for your enjoyment.

Here is a tip on how to cut prickly pears safely:

1.  Slice both ends of the prickly pear and discard them.
2.  Make one long vertical slice down the body of the prickly pear.
3.  Slip your finger into the slice and grab a hold of the skin.4.  Begin to peel back the thick fleshy skin that’s wrapped around the prickly pear. Discard the skin. You’ll be left with the prickly pear itself. The flesh is studded with tons of little edible seeds, if you like them, feel free to just chop the prickly pear up and eat, seeds and all. I myself prefer just the juice. To extract the juice, place the “husked” prickly pears into a blender or food processor and pulse until liquefied. Place the juice into a fine mesh sieve and push out the juice into a pitcher or bowl. Discard the remaining pulp and seeds.