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Learn to Cook, Caribbean-Style

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The Caribbean islands are renowned for their incredible beaches, stunning sunsets and holiday havens. But if you want to get past all the tourism and experience something truly unique, Holiday Hypermarket recommends some local cooking classes to get a true taste of the Caribbean.

Few things define a country and its culture quite like the food and each of the Caribbean islands come with a unique twist on the national menu. So even if you’re not a confessed foodaholic these cooking classes are the perfect way to see what makes the following islands distinct.

Aruba

Aruba considers itself a food lover’s paradise, which makes it the perfect place to start our list of Caribbean cooking destinations. You can taste international diversity on each of these islands and Aruba blends some heavy influences from South American Dutch and other European cuisine. Aside from the typical Caribbean jerk ribs, funchi and pan bati the island indulges in Argentinean churrasco, Spanish tapas, frogs’ legs and an entire menu of international dishes.

Best of all you can pick up some insider secrets with cooking classes on the island. All you need to do is contact the Aruba Gastronomic Association to find participating restaurants and how to book.

 Barbados

Barbados puts a different spin on Caribbean cuisine with strong hints of English, Portuguese, Spanish and West African menus. British ingredients and cooking techniques are probably the most obvious influence on this island; which adds up to a wonderful twist on some familiar flavours.

The distinct Barbadian taste comes from flying fish, coconut, local spices and so much more. But the British connection is never far away with potatoes, mustard and onions featuring in a range of dishes. Head over to Caribbean Culinary Tours for more info on Barbados cooking classes and other food holidays across the Caribbean.

 Dominican Republic

Dominican cuisine relies less on seafood than many islands in the region, with a menu focused around rice, meat, beans and vegetables – although fish and seafood still feature, to a lesser extent. You’ll find cooking varies across the different regions but the influence of Spanish, native Taino and African cuisine features in almost every mouthful.

Much of the Dominican menu is easy to learn and you’ll soon pick up the local breakfast, called Mangú, and the typical lunch, nicknamed La Bandera (the flag). You can find a heap of tips on how to find cooking schools and classes in the Dominican Republic over at Funandyou.com.

 Jamaica

Jamaican cuisine is one of the most diverse and exciting you’ll find anywhere in the world, let alone the Caribbean. Indigenous cooking has evolved to integrate Spanish, British, African, Indian, Chinese and Southeast Asian influences – resulting in one of the finest fusion food destinations around.

Hotel Mockingbird Hill offers up a Jamaican cookery course for people who want to pick up the technical skills and insider secrets to make Jamaican dishes their own. And with such diversity on the Jamaican menu you’re well served with a superb range of dishes, whatever your taste.

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