Curacao: A Lively Melting Pot of Greatness

As we wrap up this four part series on Curacao, we’d like to thank you all for reading the other parts on so many topics that make this an amazing island to visit.

In our last blog we talked about the hidden beaches, outstanding scuba diving, and superb architecture. We are going to finish up today with insight into the melting pot of local flavors of Curacao as well as the lively celebrations of life. Thank you for staying tuned in during this series.

Curacao is the Melting Pot of Different Local Flavors

As mentioned in an earlier post, Curacao hosts a mixture of different cultures. This is not only reflected in its culture and architecture, but also in its foods and the kinds of restaurants you can find in the island. The creole cuisine (Krioyo) brings together a mix of Caribbean, Dutch, and Latin American flavors.

The menus on the island include a wide range of international flavors, but a significant part is food unique to the island. Keshi Yena is the favorite local dish, which is made by stuffing a shell of Edam cheese with spiced meats. The local land animals have also made their way into Curacao’s kitchens, and often show up in the savory dishes such as the iguana soup (sopa yuana). There’s also funchi – a corn bread polenta.

During the Christmas holidays, the locals usually spend their days making ayaka, which is an entrée from Venezuela similar to a tamale, which places spiced chicken or beef in an envelope made from cornmeal pastry, then wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled for some time.

Dutch influences on the Curacao kitchen can be found in dishes such the bitterballen (spiced battered meatballs) as well as a penchant for rijsttafel, which is a kind of a tabletop buffet served in Asian restaurants like Bali and Jaipur. In Westpunt, Jaanchie’s is a must-try restaurant, especially for their seafood, which is prepared using the traditional ingredients and recipes from their culture, including iguana. A good number of the landuis (old plantation homes) in Curacao have been transformed into fine restaurants, and you can find them in places such as the Kura Hulanda hotel in Willemstad.

Bitterballen - A Dutch treat you can find in many Curacao restaurants
Fried Homemade Dutch Bitterballen with Spicy Mustard

If you want an even more authentic experience, remember to visit the open air Old Market, where the traders cook fish, chicken, and goat dishes. Here, you can eat at picnic tables, which you share with the locals and tourists. You can also opt for a private food tour as you wish on Curacao, and discover more local delicacies that should take you to the most favorite local spots, and provide you with the history behind these authentic dishes. Nonetheless, you’ll need a knowledgeable guide for this.

Lively Celebration of Life in Curacao

The residents on the island are always up for some fun, and there are many different opportunities throughout the year to celebrate and mingle. You can plan your trip around Curacao Dive Festival, Heineken Regatta, Carnival, and even the annual Amstel Curacao Race – the local equivalent of the Tour de France. If you’re a music lover, the event you should look at is the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival, and for dancers is the Tumba Festival and the Salsa Tour, all of which are equally appealing.

Along the lines of celebrating life, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to spend a fortune to visit Curacao. In fact, the island was named among the 30 cheapest places to travel in 2017, which is such a great welcome. There are also many offers from different resorts during the low season.

Now You’re Ready to Visit Curacao!

Now’s the time. Well, anytime is great actually. Are you ready to take the next step and have a great trip to Curacao put together for you? We’ll handle the tour bookings, hotels, transportation, scuba diving, and anything else you’d like to have taken care of. Contact us today and we’ll get you on your way!

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