by Fran Golden
For many travelers, exploring the culinary delights of a destination is part of the fun of travel. Foodies on Caribbean cruises can easily target where to go with organized food-focused shore excursions. On these culinary outings you meet with chefs and taste regional dishes, often accompanied by local adult beverages (bring on the rum or tequila!).
Check out these Caribbean shore excursions for foodies. (Note: options and pricing vary by cruise line.)
Creole fish, coconut rice in Dominica. Local herbs, fruits and vegetables from the “Nature Island” are used in recipes as your host shows you how to prepare a three-course meal in a traditional open-air kitchen. Specialties include creole fish, coconut rice with pigeon peas and fresh salads. There’s also rum punch to sip while you’re learning. Prices: $99 to $109 per person.
Mofongo and flan in Old San Juan. On a food and culture walking tour in Old San Juan ($105 to $109) you explore the cobblestone streets, stopping by food shops and restaurants and sampling cuisine along the way. Expect to try everything from homemade ice pops, sweet bread and flan to mofongo (Puerto Rico’s signature dish, made with fried mashed plantains), plus rum cocktails, among other favorites.
Devil shrimp in Cozumel. A chef-led Mexican Cooking Class at the Playa Mia Grand Beach Park in Cozumel (about $89) focuses on fine traditional cuisine, and after you eat your creations – accompanied by Mexican wines, tequila, mescal and/or rum drinks – you can take a siesta on the beach.
Salsa in Mexico. On the popular Salsa & Salsa tour, available in Cozumel, Progreso and Costa Maya, chefs teach you how to use tomatillos and tomatoes and various fruits to make mild, spicy and sweet salsa creations. After the demo there’s a twist – your chef will also have some impressive dance moves to share. Prices: $99 to $109 (discounts may be available for kids).
Chocolate in Nassau. Get a hands-on chocolate-making experience with the pros at Graycliff Chocolatier, next to the fancy Graycliff hotel. You’ll learn techniques for using molds, dipping and glazing and get to take home your creations. Prices from $65 to $74 for adults (less for kids).
Jerk chicken in Jamaica. On a Flavors of Jamaica tour you head to a former plantation house where Chef “Irie” shares secrets in a hands-on cooking class. His jerk chicken includes a special Dolphin Cove sauce. You’ll also make such dishes as callaloo (a Jamaican stew) and banana fritters. The excursion is offered from both Falmouth and Ocho Rios, for $99 to $105.
Conch fritters in Key West. A Taste of Key West tour shows you the funky city through a culinary lens. You taste pepper sauces, Key West pink shrimp and conch fritters and, of course, key lime pie during several stops at food shops and restaurants around town. Pricing is $44 to $55.