Caribbean food evokes the images of steamy, sun-drenched days wrapped in invigorating ocean winds, kissed by the aromas of fruit and pepper. To get started on your Caribbean food adventure, make a sofrito, a richly-seasoned base of vegetables and aromatics, then add your own flavorful tweaks for spicy and creative dishes.
Once the route to the Americas was established and colonizers made their settlements on various islands, the Caribbean became a crossroads; the English brought Nutmeg to Grenada and Spain planted Ginger in Jamaica, which then became incorporated into the flavors of the islands overall. The Caribbean is also no stranger to heat. Long before England and Spain came calling, the Taino people brought one of the hottest chiles in the world, the Scotch Bonnet, to Jamaica from northern Venezuela. Start here to get these spices, and the rest of what you need to make everything Caribbean, from fragrant jerks to spicy, satisfying curries.