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Welcome to Aruba, the sun-soaked Caribbean paradise where the food is as vibrant and inviting as the island itself.
Here, the Taste of Aruba is a delightful journey of flavors, a testament to the island's rich cultural heritage and diverse influences. From the bustling markets to the cozy beachside eateries, Aruba food is a culinary adventure waiting to be discovered. If you've ever wondered, "What food is Aruba known for?" you're about to embark on a delicious exploration of traditional dishes that embody the spirit of this beautiful island.
Our One Happy Island is not only known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife but also for its mouthwatering cuisine. The popular foods in Aruba, including fresh seafood caught in its clear waters and exotic fruits grown on the island, offer a delightful blend of flavors. They reflect the island's Dutch, African, and Indigenous roots, showcasing a diverse culinary heritage. This blend of flavors contributes to what many consider the best food in Aruba. Are you curious what the national dish of Aruba is? It’s Keshi Yena, a savory stuffed cheese dish filled with chicken, canned tomatoes, green olives and other flavor bombs. We’ve enlisted more traditional Aruban dishes below, each of them telling their own story of our island’s past and present. Get ready to go on a culinary adventure - and pick which dishes you would definitely want to eat while you’re here.
Patacon is a delightful dish that showcases Aruba's Latin American influences. Made from green plantains that are fried, flattened, and fried again, Patacones have a crispy exterior and a soft, starchy interior. They're often topped with savory ingredients like shredded meat, cheese, or fresh salsa, creating a delicious contrast of flavors and textures.
A traditional holiday dish in Aruba, Ayacas are a symbol of community and family. They’re similar to the mesoamerican dish tamales: The little ‘packages’ are made with a dough of cornmeal and filled with a savory mixture of chicken, pork, or beef, along with raisins, capers, and olives. The banana leaf wrapping gives Ayacas a unique flavor and also makes them a portable treat for gatherings and celebrations. The preparation of Ayacas is often a communal activity, reflecting the strong sense of community in Aruba.
Dutch Pancakes, also known as ‘Pannenkoeken’, differ from their American counterparts, being larger and thinner, which results in a unique, light yet satisfying texture. They offer a versatile canvas for a range of toppings, from sweet options like powdered sugar, syrup, or fruit, to savory choices such as cheese, ham, or bacon. The presence and popularity of Dutch pancakes in Aruba underscore the enduring impact of European, particularly Dutch, culinary traditions on the island's diverse food scene.
Arroz Moro is a hearty dish that highlights the Afro-Caribbean influence on Aruban cuisine. It's a flavorful combination of rice and black beans, cooked together with a blend of spices, bell peppers, and onions. The result is a rich, savory dish with a comforting texture and a depth of flavor that reflects the diverse culinary influences of the Caribbean.
Cocada is a traditional Aruban dessert that celebrates the island's abundant coconut trees. Made from condensed milk, sugar, and grated coconut, Cocada is a sweet, chewy treat with a delightful coconut flavor. The process of making Cocada involves cooking the ingredients until they caramelize, resulting in a dessert that's as delicious as it is simple.
Pastechi is a popular snack in Aruba, reflecting the island's love for flavorful, portable foods. These deep-fried pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, such as cheese, ground meat, or even seafood. The flaky pastry and savory filling make Pastechis a satisfying snack that can be enjoyed at any time of day. The popularity of Pastechis speaks to Aruba's fast-paced lifestyle and its appreciation for convenient, tasty foods.
Sopi di Pampuna, or pumpkin soup, is a traditional Aruban dish that showcases the island's love for comforting, home-cooked meals. Made from pureed pumpkin, local spices, and vegetables, this soup has a smooth texture and a warm, comforting flavor. The use of pumpkin in this dish reflects the influence of early settlers, who introduced this versatile vegetable to the island.
Exploring Aruba's food scene is an integral part of your travel experience. Each bite offers a taste of the island's rich history and diverse cultural influences. From the savory Patacon to the sweet Cocada, the best food in Aruba is a delightful journey of flavors that goes beyond the dining table, offering insights into the island's traditions and way of life.
We’re just getting started with the amazing effects Aruba has to offer. Dig into your trip details below to unlock a Caribbean experience that will fill you with sunshine and send you home with a happy afterglow that never fades.