Who doesn’t love going on holiday and tucking in to all the tasty local dishes? Mouths water over tried and tested favourites – Spanish Tapas, Portuguese Piri-Piri chicken… But what about those with an appetite for the more adventurous? These are, shall we say, lesser known delights, which will have you returning with an interesting holiday story to tell.
Antiguan Sea Moss
We couldn’t resist sharing this popular drink from Antigua, which drew a mixed and sometimes squeamish reaction from the James Villas team. Obscure and perhaps questionable, you simply must try Sea Moss. It is literally as it sounds – liquefied sea moss, blended together with condensed milk, vanilla extract, water and nutmeg. It’s sweet, non-alcoholic and a rich mix of vitamins and minerals. Better still, it’s said to be a brilliant reviver and energiser – and even an aphrodisiac!
Canarian Carne de Cabra
A Canary Island speciality, see the locals nod with approval when you order Carne de Cabra off the menu. Cabra – if you need us to translate – is goat. Don’t stop reading though! This is a dish lovingly slow-cooked for hours, stewed in a mix of red or white wine. It’s sounding better now, isn’t it? Throw in some onions, garlic, tomato, red pepper and spices and you’ve got an aromatic meal with a distinctive yet mild flavour that’ll melt in your mouth.
Italian Sanguinaccio Dolce
Room for dessert? Whoever said chocolate isn’t good for you has never tried Sanguinaccio Dolce. This chocolatey delight from Italy is packed with natural goodness, and it’s tasty too! It’s made with milk, dark chocolate, sugar, orange rind, cinnamon – and pig’s blood. Yes, you read that correctly. Sounds a bit unpalatable? Just think of all those iron-rich nutrients and the scrumptious tastes of chocolate and sweet seasonings. It’s unmissable served either cold as a dessert or warm as a side dip.
Dalmatian Brudet od Jegulia I Žaba
The most authentic of meals are the ones where you’ll never find two versions the same. They vary by the region, family recipe, and in the case of Brudet od Jegulja i Žaba, what’s been caught from the water that morning. This dish from southern Dalmatia is made with laurel leaves, onions, tomatoes, vinegar, hot peppers – and often a couple of more unusual ingredients. We’ve seen it done with conger eel and frogs! Served up with a side of polenta, this spicy stew is not for the faint-hearted.
Floridian ‘Gator nuggets
If there’s one thing America is known for, it’s its food. Nothing is done by halves, including the portions. In Florida you’ll find all sorts on the menu, and we mean all sorts. Its wetland areas are a watery home to alligators, and do you know what? They’re actually rather tasty. ‘Gator meat is similar to pork and chicken in flavour and texture, so it’s not as “out there” as you might think. Have a bite of some deep fried nuggets in true southern style. It’s practically a rite of passage.
Bajan fried flying fish
The tropical waters around Barbados are teeming with flying fish. It’s no wonder then that they’ve become a local delicacy, cooked up in a variety of ways and perfected over hundreds of years. One for the bucket list is Bajan Fried Flying Fish. Marinated in zesty lime, salt and water, then seasoned with savoury Caribbean spices and fried in breadcrumbs, it’s a flavour sensation that’ll really wake up your taste buds.