Street Food

Along the highways of Belize, it is common to see people selling food. In Silk Grass, a village just 6 miles from Hopkins, they typically sell boiled corn on the cob and dunkunu, a roasted corn and spice mixture steamed in corn husks. Other places, coconut oil and coconut water are sold. Many times, if there is a large speed bump going through a village, people will stand beside it to advertise their various food products.

Tamales are a popular item to be sold on the street. In Belize have chicken bones in them. Bones are considered the most flavorful part of the meal. The chicken foot is thought by many to be a special treat. If you want a tamale without any bones, just ask if they have one “gringo-style.”

In Hopkins, Mrs. Castillo, may sit outside the Happy Grocery store and sells cassava pudding and Johnny cakes. While Jim takes to the streets selling conch fritters, when in season or his special sauce “Hopkins Heat.” It’s his home-made version of Marie Sharp’s pepper sauce.

After school, many children are tasked with going out in the village to sell whatever their family baked that day. Treats like banana cake, pumpkin cake, and creole bread are common. One can also find meat paddies, a favorite of mine, like an empanada. Sometime snacks like fish panandes or tamales are sold. If someone on their bike asks you “do you want to buy?” say “yes!” These treats, sold out of a 5-gallon bucket they carry, usually sell for about $1-$2Belze dollars each, so it’s a great way to economically sample different foods.

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