Every culture has their own unusual ‘delicacies’ and Belizeans are no exception. Maybe due to the mix of cultures that settled here; the escaped Africans slaves as well as the German Mennonites, Maya (and more) over the years who brought their own customs and traditions. Mash that into one melting pot and you have a plethora of bizarre!
1. Meet the Gibnut or Paca, also affectionately known as the Royal Rat (since served to Queen Elizabeth II on her Belize visit some years ago). Many Belizeans will tell you its a must-try delicacy. Check out Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern gibnut feast here.
2. Split pea soup with Pig tails or Pig Snouts – served with handmade flour dumplings over white rice, this Belizean comfort food is dear to our hearts.
3. It’s no secret that Belizeans love game meat and the Peccary is no exception. Stewed, roasted, smoked or any other variation – it’s an exotic dish that begs to be tried.
4. Armadillo – also known to the Maya as “Wech” is often roasted and served in tacos (with a twist of lime, yum!), as sal-picon (a roasted meat ceviche) and a variety of other ways .
5. Cow-foot or Cow-tongue soup – a famous Belizean response to a hangover is exactly what it says it is.
6. Hickatee or River Turtle is prized meat – already an endangered specie and with a limited hunting season in Belize, consider yourself lucky if you get to try it.
7. Bamboo Chicken or Iguanas – Definitely an acquired taste and mostly consumed in rural areas, but if your taste buds crave the rare and exotic – this is a must try! (Don’t worry, our resident iguanas are perfectly safe from our kitchen!)
8. Bukut or Stinking-Toe (Cassia Grandis) – Not all the bizarre food in Belize are animals; this lovely tree that showers Ka’ana’s guests with its tender pink petals as they’re shown to their rooms, produces pods with sticky, jam-like sections surrounding the seeds. The odor leaves much to be desired (hence its Belizean name) but it’s well known for its medicinal and nutritional values.