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A Global Taste of Island Cuisine

23 Oct 2015 | by Myles Johnson

Updated November 2017

Join us on our adventure discovering a plethora of traditional dishes and authentic flavours from Islands across the globe. One of the joys of travel is to indulge in the varied gastronomical pleasures the world has to offer. While some people solely think about cuisine from larger regions, food hailing from the many islands of the world - small and large - are certainly worth some attention.

A common perception of islands all over the globe, is that they are small and rural, boasting white sand beaches, volcanic mountains, dramatic coastlines, vibrant climates, and not a lot else. But they offer that and so much more.


You can learn a lot about an island through its cuisine. Tasty dishes are made with fresh local ingredients, which are full of the rich flavours of volcanic soils and ripened by warm climates - producing some of the finest food the world has ever sampled.

Not only are Islands exotic places to cruise to, they also present an array of wonderful dishes to try, each with its own unique story.

Hawaiian Islands

The tropical islands of Hawaii are a true reflection of paradise. The majestic volcanic archipelago of Hawaii is remotely located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and home to many natural wonders. Crystal clear beaches, fascinating coral reefs, vibrant native cultures, the historic Pearl Harbour, and traditional Hula dancing are just some of the joys to discover on the island.

Hawaiian cuisine is another star attraction, offering a blend of delectable Polynesian and East Asian flavours, combined with the influence of the islands' diverse demographic of ethnicities - each of which as added their own special touch, bringing Hawaiian cuisine to life.

To experience authentic Hawaiian food in style you must visit a Luau. A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast that combines mouth-watering food with traditional cultural celebrations, and fantastic live entertainment. Watch graceful Hula dancers take to the stage alongside breathtaking fire dancers, while being serenaded by live Hawaiian music. You’re sure to be in for a memorable treat.

At a Luau, guests are invited to a dining experience like no other. You’ll enjoy a magnificent Hawaiian spread of kalua pig (pork cooked in a traditional pit oven), lau lau (beef, pork, chicken, or fish wrapped in taro leaves), lomilomi salmon, Chicken long rice, and poi (Polynesian staple starch made from taro). Exotic fresh fruits are also on the menu, indulge in platters full of pineapple chunks, papaya slices, watermelon, grapes, melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, mangos, bananas, lychee, apples, and coconuts.

P.S Remember to bring your appetite along with you to enjoy all these tasty Hawaiian delights!


Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean is one of the most beautiful and colourful places in the world. Picturesque islands awash with golden sand beaches that stretch further than the eye can see, hillsides abloom with luscious greenery, warm and welcoming locals, and a mélange of different cultures who each add their own unique twist to this joyous region.

Caribbean cuisine has undergone something of a revolution in recent years. With dishes and flavours such as jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, fried plantain, and fried dumplings, becoming known and available worldwide.

All over the Caribbean, from Cuba to St Lucia, traditional dishes play an important role in both family and community traditions, with food taking centre stage in holidays, festivals, and family occasions. The vibrancy of the Caribbean can be clearly seen in the islands’ varied and exciting cuisines. From hot and spicy mutton curry, to cooling Cuban mojitos, the flavours of the Caribbean offer a stunning taste of sunnier climes.

The culinary landscape of the Caribbean is vast, exotic flavours are in abundance, and provide as much enjoyment as the sound of Reggae.

Seafood is the staple of Caribbean cuisine, and the cornerstone of many Caribbean diets. Cooked and prepared in a variety of ways, when visiting be sure to sample coconut shrimp, ackee & salt fish, Mahi Mahi & mango salsa, and grilled red snapper.

The influence behind Caribbean cuisine varies from island to island, and lends its heritage to the diverse groups of peoples who have called this part of the world home. This has played an integral role in creating the colourful patchwork of diverse Caribbean flavours we have today.


Greek Islands

Greece is famed for having one of the largest island regions in the world, ranging from 1,200 to 6,000 islands located in the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, Myrtoan Sea and Sea of Crete. Famous for its picturesque, white-painted cliff-side villages, rocky coastlines, warm waters, and quaint towns where time stands still, the Greek islands offer the perfect escape. Combine this with a touch of fine dining, and you have yourself a seventh heaven.

Whichever island you visit by cruise, you must try a traditional Greek meze; most restaurants and guest houses serve both meat and vegetarian options. A meze is the perfect way to indulge in the true flavours of this historic part of the world.

A Traditional meze includes a variety of tasty delicacies presented in small portions: lamb kebabs, tabbouleh, hummus, smoked aubergines, pitta bread, Baba ganoush, lamb fatoush, dolmades, falafel,  and rice are but some of the dishes you can expect.

Greek cuisine is very well-balanced. A variety of different meat dishes are commonly served, such as lamb, chicken, or beef, along with a xoriatiki salata (Greek salad). No traditional meal here is complete without a classic Greek salad. The large, zesty salad usually contains tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, onions, oregano, and olive oil.

Every city, town, village, and island in Greece has its own culinary specialties, and regional dishes are the best way to taste the local ingredients. If you’re embarking on a Mediterranean or Aegean Ocean cruises you are in for a culinary feast.


Planet Cruise Weekly - Private Islands

Whatever Island cuisine becomes your favourite, one thing’s for sure - everyone’s taste buds are in for a real treat! Click for Part 2 of our Global Taste of Island Cuisine.

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