The best island cuisines around the world

18/11/2015

Photo credit: iStockWhen it comes to picking a place to travel to, there are worse reasons for your selection than the type of food you'll get to experience. It pays to know what type of cuisine will be on offer at any destination, as this can be the thing that makes or breaks your visit.

From spicy dishes to fresh seafood, five-star dining to street food, there are so many different cuisines on offer. To get your taste buds tingling and to help you decide on your next holiday, here are some of the best island cuisines from around the world:

Caribbean

If it's soul food you're after, the Caribbean is definitely the place for you. The cuisine of the Caribbean Islands is packed full of flavour - especially spice - and every dish you encounter is comforting and delicious.

With an abundance of tropical ingredients - including coconut, plantain and fruit - you'll be able to experience flavours you've not had anywhere else. Whether you enjoy savoury dishes or have a sweet tooth, there really is something for everyone.

There's also a number of iconic Caribbean dishes that need to be tasted, including flavourful and rich goat curry, callaloo - a green vegetable dish - and ackee and saltfish. Combine these with great local spirits and you'll understand what makes Caribbean cuisine so interesting.

Indonesian  If you're a fan of spice, Indonesian cuisine is definitely for you. Not for the faint of heart, food throughout Indonesia features high spice levels that are sure to make you sweat. However, this heat is accompanied by a lot of flavour and aromatic scents that offer something delicious and different.  While the overall description of Indonesian cuisine is seriously spicy, each region of the island nation has different offerings. You'll see a strong Indian influence throughout the Sumatran dishes, in comparison to Javanese food that has a strong indigenous base that steers clear of New World influences.  However, there are a number of dishes that are available throughout the country - although they may differ slightly depending on where you are - including gado gado and nasi goreng. It is also worth noting that peanuts are used quite heavily, so this cuisine may not be the best option if you have a nut allergy.Indonesian

If you're a fan of spice, Indonesian cuisine is definitely for you. Not for the faint of heart, food throughout Indonesia features high spice levels that are sure to make you sweat. However, this heat is accompanied by a lot of flavour and aromatic scents that offer something delicious and different.

While the overall description of Indonesian cuisine is seriously spicy, each region of the island nation has different offerings. You'll see a strong Indian influence throughout the Sumatran dishes, in comparison to Javanese food that has a strong indigenous base that steers clear of New World influences.

However, there are a number of dishes that are available throughout the country - although they may differ slightly depending on where you are - including gado gado and nasi goreng. It is also worth noting that peanuts are used quite heavily, so this cuisine may not be the best option if you have a nut allergy.

Filipino

The Philippines offer an interesting and totally unique cuisine as it is a mix of Asian flavours, Spanish spice and US staples. It is highly influenced by a range of cultures, which means you're likely to encounter a number of dishes that you'd think shouldn't be eaten together.

This variety is what makes Filipino food a must-try, as each offering is packed full of flavour, makes use of local ingredients and is incredibly colourful. From Spanish-inspired paella that's chock full of fresh seafood to more unusual combinations, such as beef in banana and tomato sauce, there is so much to experience.

Photo credit: iStockFijian

Perhaps not surprisingly, Fijian food is heavily influenced by the types of seafood available. Lobster, fish, prawn and crayfish are staple parts of the cuisine in Fiji, all of which are served fresh, which really does make a huge difference to the flavour.

There is a fantastic range of different dishes and ingredients to try across Fiji, with rich, flavourful meals being typical. As well as fresh vegetable and seaweed dishes - such as nama - you can try spicy curries that are totally different from Indian cuisine. It is a good idea to ask for mild or medium though as they can get hot!

While each area of Fiji has its own popular dishes, there are a few that are staples, including kokoda - raw white fish in coconut cream, onions, lime and tomato - taro, and lovo. In fact, taro is such a popular dish with locals there is even a festival dedicated to it!  

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