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5 of the Strangest Caribbean Dishes

Give your palate a Caribbean vacation with these unique eats!

 Words by Sara Sherman

The food of the Caribbean is a cuisine you’ll find nowhere else on earth. You can try a dish and recognize a particular flavor, but you may not be able to pinpoint exactly how you know it. This flavorful mash-up of cultures is as diverse as the islands themselves, and once you try a truly Caribbean dish, you won’t forget it. For a tropical vacation for your palate, try some of the most unusual dishes of the region you’ll only find in the islands!

Goat Water

A thin yet flavorful soup, Goat Water is the national dish of the island nation of Montserrat. Filled with all parts of the goat (sometimes bones and all!), the soup is full of thyme and other spices. Depending on which island you’re sampling this delicious dish, you may find potatoes, dumplings or other additions.

Mountain Chicken

Even though this dish sounds simple enough, you may not ever think of chicken the same again. Mountain Chicken isn’t chicken at all, but the Giant Ditch Frog. It’s called “chicken” due to its uncanny chicken taste and the clucking noise it makes. Native to Dominica, the frog has gone extinct on many islands. Typically fried, these “chicken” legs are a tasty way to experience a distinctively Caribbean food.

cow foot soup

Image via Travel Mindset

Cow Heel Soup


Sometimes called cow foot soup or bull foot soup, this dish can be found in various forms across the Caribbean. The bones and gelatinous tissue around the foot joints of the cow or bull is what gives this soup its rich flavor.

Buss Up Shut

If someone put a plate of buss up shut in front of you, you may wonder why anyone would eat it. Then you take one bite, and wonder how you lived without it for so many years! With a heavy Indian influence, buss up shut features a tortilla-like flatbread (roti) and a curried “filling” made with chicken or other meat and vegetables. Roti, by itself,  resembles a burrito, with the curry wrapped inside the flatbread. Buss up shut on the other hand, gets its name from its “busted up shirt” appearance, with the roti bread being chopped up into small strips and bits with the curry mixture on top or on the side.

Irish Moss

You won’t find an Irish Moss drink anywhere near Ireland. In fact, Irish Moss doesn’t contain moss at all, but seaweed! Jamaicans claim that this gelatinous specialty drink will strengthen a man’s “natural ability” as it were. Women like the drink as well, and it has many health benefits that Jamaicans swear by. Sweetened with honey or condensed milk and flavored with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla, you’ll enjoy this treat and forget all about the whole drinking seaweed bit.

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