Foods from Dominica - grilled chicken BBQ

The foods in Dominica are influenced by a blend of African, European, and indigenous Caribbean flavours. 

The cuisine is often spicy and includes a variety of seafood, meats, and vegetables.

We’ll cover some of the most popular foods, and reveal a few interesting foods from Dominica that may surprise you.

Let’s go! Here are 10 Foods from Dominica

1) Callaloo

Foods from Dominica - Callaloo

Callaloo is a popular vegetable dish in Dominica and other Caribbean nations. It is made from a variety of leafy greens, such as dasheen or taro leaves, as well as other vegetables like onions, peppers, okra, and garlic.

To prepare callaloo, the vegetables are first washed and chopped, then sautéed in oil or butter until they are tender.

The mixture is then seasoned with herbs and spices like thyme, bay leaves, and hot peppers. Coconut milk and salted meat or fish may also be added for additional flavour.

Once the vegetables are cooked, the mixture is often pureed in a food processor until it forms a thick, creamy sauce.

Callaloo can be served as a side dish or as a main course, accompanied by rice, bread, or other starches.

RELATED POST – What to Eat in Haiti – 10 Best Foods From Haiti

2) Manicou Stew

Foods from Dominica - Manicou

Manicou, also known as opossum, is a small, furry animal native to the Caribbean region, including Dominica.

Manicou meat is considered a delicacy in Dominica and is highly valued for its tender meat. 

It is a popular ingredient in Dominican cuisine and the main ingredient in preparing traditional Manicou Stew.

First, the meat is often prepared by marinating it in a mixture of herbs and spices, then simmering it in a stew with vegetables like onions, garlic, and hot peppers. 

This meat can also be cooked in a pelau, which is a type of Caribbean rice and meat dish.

Manicou reminds me of how the famous ‘Cuy’ (guinea pig) is utilised in Peruvian cuisine.

RELATED POST – Top 5 Popular Foods in South America

3) Mountain Chicken

I know that the title of this dish says chicken, but despite its name, this food from Dominica doesn’t have any chicken in it! A little confusing, I know.

Mountain chicken is a dish made from the legs of a type of frog called the giant ditch frog. The legs of the frog are typically seasoned with local herbs and spices, then fried or roasted until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. 

Mountain chicken is considered a delicacy in Dominica, often served as a main course dish with sides like rice, plantains, or breadfruit.

However, due to overhunting and habitat loss, the population of the giant ditch frog has declined significantly, and the species is now listed as critically endangered. As a result, the consumption of mountain chicken has been restricted in recent years to help protect the species and promote conservation efforts.

So, please do the right thing when visiting Dominica and don’t try endangered foods here.

As you can see from our list of foods of Dominica, there are plenty of other things to enjoy.

4) Sancocho

Foods from Dominica - Sancocho
The foods in Dominica are usually filling and full of flavour

Sancocho is a popular stew dish in Dominica and many other Latin American and Caribbean countries. The stew consists of various types of meat, such as chicken, beef, pork, or goat, along with starchy vegetables like cassava, plantains, and potatoes. 

All ingredients are cooked in a flavourful broth, seasoned with various herbs and spices.

The exact ingredients used in sancocho can vary depending on the region and the cook’s preferences, but common seasonings include garlic, onion, cilantro, and oregano. The stew is served with rice or bread on the side.

Sancocho is considered comfort food and is cherished for its rich and complex flavours.

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5) Codfish sandwich

A codfish sandwich is one of those easy, yet super satisfying foods from Dominica.

A fresh fish fillet is first seasoned, then fried or grilled and then placed between two slices of crispy bread. The Codfish sandwich is an uncomplicated staple of the Dominica food scene.

This is the perfect food of Dominica to wrap and pack into your backpack to set off on a thrilling Canyoning Experience or a half-day snorkelling tour in Dominica.


6) Tropical Fruits

Foods from Dominica - soursop
Foods from Dominica – Soursop

Dominica is known for its wide variety of tropical fruits grown throughout the island. These fruits create juices, smoothies, fresh dishes, sauces and chutneys, in addition to enjoying on their own.

Some of the most popular tropical fruits in Dominica include:

  • Mangoes – a sweet and juicy fruit that is used in many dishes, such as salads, chutneys, and desserts.
  • Pineapples – eaten fresh or used in fruit salads, smoothies, and juices.
  • Papayas – a creamy fruit that is often eaten as a snack or used in salads, smoothies, and desserts.
  • Guavas – a fragrant fruit eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies, and other preserves.
  • Soursops – a sweet and tangy fruit- often used in desserts. This fruit also makes a refreshing fresh juice. Don’t miss it!
  • Breadfruits – a starchy fruit, often roasted, fried, or boiled and used as a side dish or in stews and curries.
  • Coconuts – a versatile fruit. Perfect for coconut milk for cooking, coconut oil, and coconut water.
  • Passion fruits – a tart and tangy fruit, perfect for beverages, desserts, and sauces.
  • Starfruits – a fruit with a unique shape and flavour, it’s often used in salads, smoothies, and desserts.

7) Saltfish Sancoche

Foods from Dominica - Saltfish Sancoche

Saltfish Sancoche is one of the more popular foods from Dominica, made with salted codfish, vegetables, and coconut milk. The dish is typically prepared by boiling the salted codfish in water until tender, then removing the skin and bones and breaking it into smaller pieces.

Next, vegetables such as yams, green bananas, and dasheen are added to the pot, with coconut milk, and other seasonings like onion, garlic, and hot peppers. The mixture is simmered until the vegetables are cooked perfectly, and a rich and flavourful broth appears.

Saltfish Sancoche is often served as a main course dish and can be served with bread, rice, or other starchy sides. 

The dish is widespread throughout the Caribbean, we tried something similar on our Food Tour of Grenada.

This meal is beloved in Dominica, where it is considered a staple of the country’s culinary heritage.

8) Agouti

Foods from Dominica - Agouti

Agouti is a type of rodent, similar in appearance to a guinea pig, but bigger and with longer legs. Either way, this native mammal is a popular ingredient in Dominican cuisine and is often served as a stew or roasted with spices and herbs.

Agouti meat is lean and tender, with a flavour and texture similar to rabbit or chicken.

It is typically marinated in a mixture of herbs and spices, then slow-cooked in a stew with vegetables like onions, garlic, and hot peppers.

The meat can also be roasted or grilled and served with sides like rice, beans, or fried plantains.

Note: Agouti hunting is regulated in Dominica, and the meat is considered a delicacy that many locals and visitors can enjoy.

However, due to overhunting and habitat loss, the population of agouti has declined in recent years, and conservation efforts are underway to protect the species and promote sustainable hunting practices.

9) Crab Backs

Foods from Dominica - Crab backs
Foods from Dominica – Crab backs

Crab backs are a popular dish in Dominica cuisine that is made from the meat of crab claws.

To prepare crab backs, the meat is removed from the claws and mixed with bread crumbs, herbs, spices, and other ingredients such as onion, garlic, and pepper. The mixture is then placed back into the cleaned crab shells and baked until golden brown and crispy.

Crab backs are often served as an appetiser or side dish and are a popular choice for special occasions such as weddings and festivals. They are typically served with a side of hot sauce or pepper sauce, which adds an extra kick of flavour.

Crab backs are a delicious and unique dish that reflects the bounty of seafood available in Dominica’s coastal waters.

10) Fish Broth

Foods from Dominica - Fish Broth

Fish broth is a favoured seafood dish in Dominica. It is a hearty soup made with various fish and seafood, along with vegetables, herbs, and spices.

To prepare the fish broth, fish and seafood are first cleaned and prepared, then boiled in water with onions, garlic, celery, and other aromatic vegetables. Next, seasonings like thyme, bay leaves, and hot peppers are added to enhance the broth’s flavour.

The fish is removed, and then more vegetables are added and simmered until tender. The fish and seafood are added back into the pot at the end to warm through.

Fish broth is a comfort food in Dominica, and it’s often served with crusty bread or crackers.

Tips for Travel in the Caribbean

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to know about these 11 Caribbean Islands’ best beaches to visit.

We visited many Caribbean Island nations on our journey to visit every country. Our recap of the Caribbean islands and countries visited in 2019 may offer some good tips to help you plan your visit too.

However, logistically planning an Island Hopping Trip in the Caribbean (all 13 nations) is full of challenges. Are you up for it?

Along the way, many Caribbean island cuisines impressed us! Be sure to try these 10 popular foods in the Bahamas, and our top 10 delicious dishes in Haiti that you must try!

For future travels, don’t miss our top 6 Travel Hacks to save you money and our Ultimate Packing List for Travellers. And you may learn a few great tips after reading our best ever-travel tips after 15 years of travel.

Find all of our best travel tips, advice, and things we use and recommend to travel the world on our Travel Resources Page.