Garifuna food is traditionally based on the staple foods of cassava, plantain and banana, combined with fish and other seafood. The colors of the Garifuna flag reflect the importance of cassava to the Garifuna people, as the yellow stripe represents the color of cassava bread (“ereba” in the Garifuna language).
Cassava is not only made into flatbread, but also into sweet deserts such as cassava pudding (also known as plastic cake due to its rubbery consistency), and sweetened drinks like sahou. It is also sometimes included in stews.
Plantain and banana are used both ripe and unripe (green) in Garifuna food. The word “hudut” is commonly used to refer to the popular fish and coconut milk stew served with mashed plantain. In actual fact is the word for the plantain alone. The plantain served with the fish is a combination of around three parts green plantain to one part ripe plantain. Both are boiled and then pounded together in a wooden “mata” until the consistency of a moist dough. Mashed plantain is served with other Garifuna dishes such as “Tikini” and “Tapado”.
“Hudut” – mashed green & ripe plantain with fish sere in the background
Green bananas are used in savoury dishes such as green banana fritters. These are made by grating green bananas and seasoning before making them into patties ready to fry. They are also used in “bundiga“, another stew, and in “darasa”, which is basically tamales made with green banana instead of corn. Dried banana and plantain powder are also used to make a Garifuna porridge called “gungude”.
Below are some Garifuna items and jewellery pieces made by us from sea glass collected in Belize.