Aruba’s melting pot of cultures contributes to an interesting menu of local dishes, with heavy influences from Holland, South America, and other Caribbean islands. While some of the dishes and libations are typically enjoyed on special occasions, others are found on Aruban tables quite regularly.
Award-winning chefs from all over the world spin their magic, adding new and exciting dimensions to Aruba’s unique and dynamic culinary stew pot. Even traditional favorites acquire a new look and taste. Fascinating flavor fusions result from the combination of various types of cuisines, creating dishes bursting with taste and color.
Aruban home cooking has been influenced by Amer-Indians, merchants, pirates, Dutch and Spanish colonial powers, African slaves, Oriental and Asian settlers. Aruba’s multi-cultural history is reflected today in dishes such as bami and nasi goreng rice, saté with peanut sauce, and Dutch pea soup and thin pancakes served with a variety of sweet and savory toppings. Johnny cakes (fried, puffy biscuits) and pan bati (Aruban pancake) replace traditional bread.
Do experience a bit of Aruban flavor by visiting local restaurants. Many of them feature a sumptuous seafood soup and freshly caught fish such as wahoo, red snapper, mahi-mahi and barracuda served in a variety of preparations including pan-fried, blackened, grilled and meuniere. Creole sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions is traditional and tasty. Try a stew of beef (carni di baca stoba), chicken (galina stoba) or the sweeter goat meat (cabrito stoba), served with rice and beans (arroz moro) or cornmeal mash (funchi). The pastechi (deep-fried, crescent pastry with a variety of fillings) is a national snack. The fiery Madame Janette pepper, the local version of the scotch bonnet family, spices up meat, soup and seafood dishes.