Learn about the common herbs used in Caribbean cuisine to give this land an irresistible attraction and their incredible food flavor.
As one of the most attractive tourist destinations globally, the Caribbean is the top name among the places people want to visit most during their vacation.
Besides the beauty of exquisite beaches, the cuisine is this tourist paradise’s ‘secret weapon.’
The secret behind the delicacies here is the combination of spices and herbs.
So, do you know a lot about herbs with unique flavors?
If not, let me help you; here is a list of 5 favorite herbs in the Caribbean that you should know:
Five Common Herbs Of The Caribbean That Bring You Different Tastes
What is Culantro?
According to growherbsgarden.com, Chadon Beni is another name for this Caribbean herb, and its plant name is Eryngium foetidum.
It is widely used in food processing in the Caribbean.
Similar in taste to cilantro. However, culantro is much more intense and potent in flavor.
The Spruce Eats shares that this spice makes recaito or sofrito (a mixture of onions, garlic, ajicitos, green bell peppers, and lots of Culantro) in Puerto Rican cuisine.
Still, it is also a natural spice used in Asian regional dishes like sushi.
This herb grows in areas with a hot and humid climate, such as Hawaii, Cambodia, Mexico, and Vietnam. Still, you may not know it originated in South and Central America.
I saw an article written by Linda Claire of GrowHerbsGarden.com; he provided some interesting information about the taste of Culantro.
‘These taste patterns are usually due to organic compounds (chemicals). He wrote that those chemicals usually come from terpenoids, carotenoids, flavonoids, and other basic essential oils.
Culantro has a bitter taste and pungent odor similar to coriander but much stronger.
Besides, it is a bit pungent. Obviously, not everyone can eat this herb.
Most herbs have a specific flavor like sour, bitter or sweet.
So every time you mention the name of one of them, you will think of its taste right in the head.
The herbs are added as a special seasoning thanks to its unique flavor.
According to Linda Claire, an herbal expert, you should chew Culantro after every meal.
Why? Culantro helps you eliminate the residual sulfur compound in your mouth – the leading cause of bad breath.
Besides, Culantro enables you to reduce the daily glucose intake, treat asthma, reduce pain, eliminate poisoning, etc.
Culantro is an aromatic herb and flavor similar to cilantro
Another common Caribbean herb used in the Caribbean is Thyme.
For professional chefs, especially Western cuisine lovers, the Thyme concept is no longer strange.
Thyme trees have many branches; each branch has a lot of small leaves.
Thyme first appeared in Southern Europe, primarily the Mediterranean.
This spice is prevalent in Southern Italy, then spread to many parts of the world, such as France, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
Thyme has a slightly spicy taste and a strong aroma.
The leaves give off a delicate fragrance if you cook for a long time at the right temperature.
Today, this leaf is trendy among chefs’ choices to increase the dish’s flavor.
You can use thyme in both fresh and dried forms.
The effect of thyme on thymol and carvacrol is essential in enhancing the respiratory resistance of viruses and bacteria.
Also, it significantly reduces the symptoms of respiratory infections.
Thyme leaves also provide many other health benefits such as good eyesight, cardiovascular protection, stress relief, etc.
Thyme is a herb that has been used in medical and culinary applications for thousands of years
Basil is a spiced vegetable commonly used in cooking as well as baking.
It is a spicy vegetable typical of Western cuisine, especially Italian.
Basil is an aromatic plant and is also thought to be a relative with mint.
The name Basil is derived from the Greek: basilikon (meaning “king”).
This name shows that the Greeks highly respected Basil in the past and used it as medicine.
Basil is very diverse in genres.
They are all used in delicious dishes in the Caribbean.
When you eat Basil, you will feel the fresh and intense taste right at the tip of your tongue.
Basil is commonly used to add flavor to soups, sauces, pizzas, salads, or cakes.
This herb is rich in nutrients like vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.
Vitamin A is also a nutrient component in Basil. It helps your body fight against antioxidants while preventing blood cholesterol – the leading cause of serious diseases such as moderate arterial fiber, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
Basil originated from the tropics.
Marjoram is a smelling herb whose botanical name is the beauty of the mountain.
It is known for its therapeutic medicinal uses and is a familiar flavor in Caribbean cuisine.
This herb is a perennial plant with a maximum height of 36 inches. It has green and flat oval leaves.
As a member of the mint family, the fact that marjoram has a subtle scent is easy to guess.
The taste is similar to oregano, but the marjoram can give you a sweeter and more refined experience.
However, marjoram is not as spicy as its relatives.
Therefore, combining with gentle dishes such as chicken or fish is suitable.
Marjoram can improve your digestive system by increasing the production of digestive enzymes.
Moreover, it also helps you have a healthy heart and excellent mental.
Marjoram is not only a popular spice in meals but also an excellent remedy for health.
Green onion originated from Asia and was first used by Chinese people 5000 years ago.
This food is becoming an integral part of the culinary arts in many countries, from Asia to Europe and North America.
Green onions are sweeter and mellower than regular onions.
It gives you a taste of fresh leaves and is a little pungent.
Eating green onions will help the body form a disease-prevention system in terms of antibacterial ability.
Researchers at the American Institute for Cancer Research say that natural sulfur compounds in green onions make it an anti-cancer food.
Onions are indispensable spices in dishes.
All in all, natural herbs can become helpful remedies and essential spices in daily meals.
Caribbean people make use of natural ingredients to create great delicacies that attract food lovers all around the world.
Try once to use these spices in your dish.
I believe you will be happy to enjoy them.