Shakshuka is a healthy and simple breakfast (or anytime of day) dish that originated in southern Israel and several other parts of the Middle East, specifically Egypt and other areas of north Africa. It is typically an Indian breakfast dish consisting of fried plantains. It is spiced with cumin, cardamom and chili powder. The plantains are peeled and then fried tender.
In Jamaica the most popular breakfast dishes include grilled bananas, chicken or shrimp, grilled pineapple, roasted chestnuts, fried or boiled vegetables (such as pea or sweet potato), fried plantains, fried soft-shell crab, fried plantains, and fried seafood such as oysters, clams or mussels. Some Caribbean breakfasts are served with sugar. Others include foods that have large amounts of butter, such as fried foods (though not all so please read the food label) and custard-flavored custards. Many Caribbean breakfasts also include an assortment of foods that are considered to be carbohydrates, such as breakfast cereals and white bread.
In many Caribbean style breakfasts, eggs are used instead of salted crackers or biscuits. In many countries, eggs are fried. However, in other countries eggs are poached. Plantains are also served raw along with onions, garlic and peppers.
Typical ingredients include potatoes, vegetables, cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Depending on what part of the world you are in, you will use different types of meats depending on local fare. In most countries the main ingredient for breakfast is a ham or bacon. Sometimes ham is replaced by turkey but that is not always the case.
In many Caribbean countries, toast is eaten as the main breakfast meal. The same is true with this breakfast dish. The toast is made with bananas and honey. In most cases, bananas are stewed with water, though in other countries you can use bananas that have been cut from the tree. Other ingredients can include raisins and dates.
For an American breakfast many people in the Caribbean will eat an apple, which is boiled in water or can be cooked with nuts or even curry. Ackee is a type of plantain that is cooked with water and is very sweet. Sometimes cake is eaten raw or cooked, but is typically enjoyed in a cup of tea. This is considered to be the national drink of Belize.
Other ingredients that are common in a Caribbean breakfast include cheese, fried plantains, eggs, sugar and various types of fresh fruits. Often, eggs are not included unless they have been sunny-tended or overripe. The Caribbean food habit also includes baked meats, such as pork or beef, as well as grilled chicken and vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, tomatoes are almost always the more popular choice due to their availability and relatively low cost.
A Caribbean meal usually begins with a bowl of fruit, such as watermelon, oranges or apples. Nuts and curry are commonly added during the course of the meal, though depending on your particular appetite you may choose to include something different. For example, eggs are used for breakfast in many countries but are not common in the Caribbean. For dessert a banana, sugar or pecan praline is often served. The meal is then served. In the United States, this breakfast is sometimes called ‘Honeymoon’s’ due to the resemblance of the ingredients have to the traditional breakfast of England, which was a type of bee honeymoon.
Unlike many other countries, in the Caribbean almost every meal begins with a vegetable dish followed by an open-faced protein or sausage. In many cases, the main dish of the morning is either rice or beans. In many cases, a little pepper or salt is added to these dishes to make them more spicy. A Caribbean breakfast usually contains at least one hot dish, such as beans or rice, and one milder dish, such as plantains or toast. Plantains are fried plantains that are filled with shrimp, coconut meat, onions, tomatoes and spices like cumin, garlic powder and coriander.
At many hotels in the Caribbean, there is a restaurant that serves a typical Caribbean breakfast. This can be a simple table roll, which is considered the most popular or a large tortilla shell that is filled with softened cheese, meat, vegetables, chili, eggs or onions and served with your choice of fillings. Sometimes, the tortilla shell is filled with your choice of fruit, vegetables or even pudding. You can find Trinidad breakfast specialties that include this, bananas, goat cheese, eggs, sausage, chicken or beef, soft boiled eggs, fried plantains or shrimp, mangoes or pineapple along with your favorite dip.
One of the best things about Jamaica is the many types of foods that you can enjoy. A Caribbean breakfast is something that you should not miss out on, especially if you enjoy some Caribbean inspired foods such as Jamaican jerk, fried plantains, eggs, shrimp, goat cheese or sausage, soft boiled eggs, fruit, vegetables, dips, and desserts. Even though you will find some foods to be more familiar to your American breakfast, you will surely be amazed at some of the delicious fare that you can find in Jamaica. The Caribbean diet is so wide and varied that you can have an amazing assortment of flavors and textures while consuming your morning meal.