The cuisine of Bermuda combines both English and Portuguese cuisine along with preparations of local seafood species. However, the majority of ingredients used in Bermudian cuisine are imported. Fish is the major ingredient in most Bermudian dishes.
Bermudian Cuisine – Local Fish
Local fish used in Bermudian cuisine includes snapper, mahi-mahi, tuna, wahoo, and spiny lobster when it is in season from September to March.
Traditional Bermudian dishes include fish sandwiches, fish and chips, panfried fish, codfish cakes, and boiled salted codfish and potato.
Some restaurants serve a specialty known as codfish brunch in which a full boiled salted codfish is served with boiled potatoes, sliced bananas, and onions. It is then topped with tomato sauce or a hard-boiled egg and sometimes avocado slices.
Bermuda’s National Dish
Fish chowder is considered to be a national dish of Bermuda being served both in restaurants and in homes. The main ingredients include fish, fish stock, bacon fat, and vegetables.
Some restaurants also include sherry peppers and black rum in the fish chowder. Beef stock is also used in this soup.
Conch chowder is also popular in Bermuda and contains conch, onion, celery, potatoes, herbs, salt pork, and a dash of cream.
Portuguese red bean soup is a thick and hearty soup with kidney beans, tomato, potato, onion, kale, garlic, and chunks of sausage and ham.
Bermuda spiny lobster is similar to cold-water lobster, however it has a longer and meatier tail. The local Bermuda lobster season runs from September until March. It is served in a variety of ways such as boiled accompanied by melted butter, baked and served in a cheese sauce, or sautéed in small chunks with brandy and then covered with a cream sauce.
Popular appetizers frequently seen in restaurants are codfish cakes and shark hash. Codfish cakes are made out of salted cod mash, cooked potatoes, parsley, and thyme. Codfish cakes are served with a topping of fruit salsa. Shark hash is minced shark meat served on toast that has been sautéed with spices.
Bermudian Cuisine – Holiday Season
During the holidays, cassava pie is a Bermuda dinner specialty combining pork or chicken with eggs, brandy, and pastry to make a meaty layered pie that is somewhat sweet.
Cassava was imported to Bermuda from the West Indies in the early days of the colony.
Sweet potato pudding, made with cloves, cinnamon, and orange or lemon juice, is frequently eaten on Guy Fawkes Day.
Bermuda honey is quite unique and special since the bees of the island have access to plants that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. This gives the honey a different taste than one is likely to find elsewhere. Bermudian honey can be found in supermarkets around the island.
Vegetarians will have a tough time finding things to eat on the island. Even what one would think is a vegetarian dish, peas ‘n’ rice or Hop ‘n’ John, contains bacon, chicken, or sliced sausage in addition to the peas and rice. However, there is an abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables such as loquats, papaya, cassava, cabbage, and cucumbers to name a few.
The Bermudian Magazine is a popular island source for various recipes.