Today the Caribbean cuisine is a mix rather confusing due to the influences from almost everywhere. As it is unfortunately common, the indigenous Caribes were exterminated almost completely during the Conquer and the remaining ones were sent off to Venezuela and Honduras. Caribe's language was lost around 1920, and their culinary traditions we can only try to sketch. The Colombian Caribbean coast is famous for its fiesta, the rum and for being Shakira's cradle, and there the skin is darker and the spirit alive.
Although the Caribes were known for their cannibal appetite (non proved theory), we won't talk today about human recipes. Other ingredients that they did use are the coconut and the fish, elements that have remained on the coastal tables, although for example a typical dish from Cartagena is the posta negra, which is beef. Some other typical dishes are shellfish rice, which could be a cross between a paella and three-jewel rice, and the coconut rice, which comes with every dish, no exception.
WE EAT AT... La Central Antillana
Cartagena de Indias
We order: Shellfish rice
If the secret of the rice is in the stock, the one used for this plate was the best stock ever boiled, with an incredible depth of flavor and quite a subtle call to the sea, almost elegant. What is not elegant is the imitation-crab stick but we'll forget about it given the excellence of the flavor.