Since the Caribbean islands are hot, you might assume the dishes created there are ideal for summertime. However, there are actually a lot of Caribbean foods that are warm and invigorating and that taste delicious in the winter months. Here are a few such dishes to consider if you happen to see them on the menu at your local Caribbean restaurant.

Mannish Water

While this sounds like a beverage and maybe a cocktail, it is actually a soup. Originating in Jamaica, Mannish water is made with the organ meats and other offal, which gives it a really rich stock and complex flavor. (Most of the meats are not left in the stock, so don't worry; you won't generally be eating anything too unusual.) The soup is filled out with plantains, yams, coconut, and hot peppers, so it becomes really hearty and filling—perfect for a winter night.

Makawoni au Graten

This dish is a good one for anyone who is new to Caribbean cuisine because it won't seem too unfamiliar. It resembles macaroni and cheese. Most restaurants will use a large pasta, such as Rigatoni. It is combined with a meat, such as shredded chicken, and some seasonings, such as white pepper and mustard. Then, the ingredients are covered in a rich cheese sauce and baked. Makawoni au Graten is a favorite in Haiti.


Another rich and hearty soup, this one is made in Haiti. Boullion is typically made with a variety of meat bones — whatever is leftover and available. Scotch bonnet peppers give it plenty of heat, and celery, cabbage, plantains, and potatoes round out its flavors. It is traditional to dip buns or bread in the soup as you eat, which makes for a lovely winter's day meal.

Pudding and Souse

Hailing from Barbados, this Caribbean dish is the definition of comfort food. It's traditionally made with pork, although you may see some U.S. restaurants making it with beef. The meat is basically pickled in lime juice, which gives it a really tender texture. It is then mixed with onions, peppers, and cucumbers before being stuffed into some sort of bun or bread. You can eat it with your hands, which makes it a good choice if you're on-the-go.

The foods above are warm and soothing, making them excellent choices on a winter day. The Caribbean may be warm and summery, but the region does make some nice winter dishes.

To learn more about Caribbean dishes, reach out to a local Caribbean restaurant.