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Belize Food: The perfect souvenir

By Slickrock Adventures on August 8, 2011

Belize doesn’t produce many handmade souvenirs. They don’t have a tradition of handicrafts, except for drums from Dangriga and Hopkins. In fact, most tourist gift shops in Belize will be filled with products from Guatemala.

So what do you take home to your friends and family? I have the answer! Belize does have an interesting selection of excellent food and drinks. There are many options in the local supermarkets. For guests on our trips, it’s easy to go to Brodies supermarket on the Northern Highway, just 2 blocks from the Biltmore. We get back off the island in plenty of time for you to walk down there on your last afternoon before we pick you up for dinner. It’s easy and the items are very reasonably priced.

Belize’s #1 producer of excellent hot sauce and jams is Marie Sharp. She makes carrot hot sauce, grapefruit hot sauce, and my favorite: cactus hot sauce! You can get mild, medium, hot and fiery hot, and you can buy large bottles or tiny plastic bottles that only cost 90 cents (US) each. Your friends will LOVE them. I know mine do. The small plastic bottles are also perfect for a camping trip. Don’t leave Belize without taking home a supply. I find that 2 large bottles and 10 of the travel size lasts me for one year.

But she also makes jam. You can find mango, banana, mixed tropical fruit, orange, pineapple, guava, papaya, and red or green habanero jelly (my favorite). We serve a lot of all of these on our island with johnny cakes and biscuits. These are fabulous jams! Take some of them home too!

You can also buy coconut oil, coffee (except their coffee is only OK), dried tropical fruits, plantain chips, pumpkin seeds, and cashews, all grown and processed in Belize.

Another very interesting item is recado. This is a spice paste sold in balls or bars, also known as red achiote paste. You can’t make Belize Stew Chicken without it. You can find the local recipe elsewhere on this blog.

But don’t forget the beer! Belikin Beer, the beer of Belize, is very, very good. It comes in 2 varieties: beer and stout. You can tell which is which by the color of the caps (beer: green cap, stout: blue cap). You’ll get a lot of opportunity to try this on the island, as we include beer at no additional charge for our Belize vacation packages.

And rum! Belize produces a lot of rum. One Barrel is our staff favorite, but there are many other fantastic rums and rum mixes, as well as coconut rum which is so good you can drink it straight.

And something that might surprise you, the Bowen & Bowen soda factory makes all of their own soda pop. We serve a lot of this on the island too. Their ginger ale is MUCH better than what we can get in the US, and they are all made with cane syrup grown right in Belize; no high fructose corn syrup. I don’t drink soda in the US, but I do in Belize. It’s all quite good. They don’t produce any diet drinks but they have a great soda water that you can mix with squash.

Squash? Did you hear that right? I mean the drink concentrate. It’s a British product (remember Belize used to be British Honduras). It’s amazing stuff. It needs no refrigeration. You can get lime, orange, tropical fruit punch, grapefruit (my fave), pineapple, and mango.

There are other products they produce in Belize that you probably won’t be taking home with you: excellent yogurt, cheese, bacon, beans, rice, sugar, and their own version of Wonderbread.

And if you really want to go local, take home some Roses toilet paper. Produced right in Belize!

These images were taken at the Brodies on the Northern Highway. All prices, when visible, are in Belize dollars (2 Belize dollars = 1 US dollar, so divide by 2).

(You can click each image to view the full picture.)