Curacao's blend of influences – African, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Jewish and more – creates an eclectic cuisine you might not expect to find on an island in the Caribbean.
So go ahead and order that fruity frozen cocktail, but make sure to sample some of these 10 dishes and drinks, too.
The beer-friendly snack is a breaded, fried ball of gooey beef and gravy, and it’s typically served with mustard for dipping.
Curacao’s unofficial national dish is based on Dutch cheeses but likely has origins among enslaved Africans. They would turn leftover rinds into a meal by stuffing them with spiced chicken and raisins.
The green stew is a mix of okra, fish, salted meat (beef or goat) and basil. Dip a spoon in, pull it up, and you’ll see a trail of okra slime – it’s a love it or hate it texture.
This beef stew – also made with kabritu (goat) – is a hearty dish of cubed, marinated meat simmered with different combinations of onions, garlic, cumin, curry, nutmeg, bell peppers and tomatoes.
Morning is one option for when to eat these sweet, fluffy-yet-dense pumpkin pancakes. But they also work as a cinnamon-sugary side dish with a plate of savory stoba or on their own as a filling snack.
It tastes like chicken (of course) but it’s filled with small bones. (As local lore has it, iguana is an aphrodisiac.)
The savory, crescent-shaped, fried or baked pastry is similar to an empanada, though the dough is usually lighter. Common fillings for this handheld breakfast or snack include Gouda cheese or ground meat.
Lionfish, the striped fish known for its long, venomous spines and its status as an unwelcome invasive species in the Caribbean, has white, buttery meat — perfect with a sprinkle of fiery pika sauce.
It’s no surprise that in a country named Curacao, you’ll find an original distillery that makes authentic curacao liqueur. The spirit is made from the dried peels of the laraha fruit.
Unlike the curacao liqueur, the island’s rom berde, or green rum, doesn’t taste like its clear counterparts. Along with its electric color, the rum has a strong licorice flavor.