The rich volcanic soil, the unspoiled nature, and the abundant rainfall are what give Dominica such a rich variety of fruits, spices, vegetables and many other crops. A highlight of Caribbean travel is the bright, exotic tastes and Dominica does not disappoint. Healthy cooking and eating is a Dominican way of life, and it is quite easy to find very good and eclectic blends of Creole and Caribbean dishes. You should make a point to visit the street vendors and the farmers market in Roseau. The concept of local and sustainable food is strong on this island, most locals living outside of the main city of Roseau own several acres of land to raise their own food.
A must have is a popular creole dish, roasted breadfruit (resembling a melon) that is stuffed with veggies, spices and salted cod cooked over charcoals. Cooked this way it can only be enjoyed in the home of a local especially in the Carib territory.
Cassava bread is among the simplest and yet most delicious bread you will ever try. While rustic and delicious its preparation is very labor intensive and quite a ritual, because of this it is hard to find outside of the Carib Territory. The farina with which the bread is made comes from the Cassava plant that the indigenous people transported from South America as it was and still is central to their daily diet.
Shellfish are bountiful both in the sea and on land (crayfish and land crabs) and you should make a point of having lunch by one of the ladies that set up shop on the side of the road to serve the most delectable crayfish soup accompanied with rice, peppers, onions and dasheen (Caribbean taro, a starchy tuber) or tannia (similar to a yam or potato but with a nutty taste).
You will find saltfish on almost every menu, a popular dish consisting of salted cod typically served with sautéed onions, peppers, and tomatoes over rice. If you haven’t had the chance to try conch before, you will find it in Dominica called lambi, usually served in a delicious stew.
Callaloo, is a wonderful soup made with dasheen, spinach, meat and coconut milk often cooked over open fire.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the locals in Dominica have a couple of dishes that they consider a delicacy which most tourists turn up their noses at. Manicou, a smoked or stewed opossum (similar in taste to rabbit). And agouti (a rodent resembling a guinea pig) often served over the barbecue or in a stew with Caribbean spices.
Dominicans have a popular street food that they call bakes. It is essentially a fried biscuit or fritter stuffed with cheese, fish, or eaten plain. DO yourself a favor and pick up one or three.
Crapaud, also known as “mountain chicken” is an entrée that was traditionally made with a giant land frog that is close to extinction and was outlawed about 10 years ago. Ironically if you do see it on the menu now, it most likely is chicken and not frog.
All of these and many other wonderful Dominican foods can be enjoyed with any fresh squeezed fruit juices or with a variety of rums. You must try fresh soursop (a flavor combination of strawberry and pineapple with a hint of citrus), and fresh guava, not only are they are very good for you, they are simply divine. To get really local you can try Sea Moss a beverage made of sea moss, cinnamon, ginger and evaporated milk.
Or just get a fresh coconut and a machete (or track down one of the many street or beach vendors), and make your own drink straight from Mother Nature.