Native dishes include pan-fried fish, rice, fried or boiled plantains, tortillas, and beans. Honduras offers an abundance of fruits - bananas, oranges, limes, and mangos. Bananas are a major export crop for Honduras. Oranges are delicious in season. Both bananas and oranges are very inexpensive. Coconuts and cashews both grow on the island.
Coconut oil is popular for cooking. The white coconut meat is grated. The grated coconut is put in water then squeezed by hand in a cloth. The resulted fluid is boiled and oil is skimmed off the top. The oil is heated again to drive off any remaining water.
Natives love blue crabs. Blue crabs are land crabs that burrow in the ground and come out at night to eat fruit and vegetation. These crabs climb high into trees, crawl under water to escape enemies, and deposit their eggs in the sea. Hunters catch them by hand at night using flashlights. Blue crabs live on Roatan in abundance.
Although iguana are protected by law, islanders have been enjoying them as a dining delicacy for many generations. Hunters find iguanas in trees in the afternoon. A boy may climb the tree, shaking it until the iguana drops to the ground to run away. Dogs then pursue and catch the iguana. A large iguana fetches a premium price.
Seafood is one of the major industries of Roatan. Natives love shrimp, sea crabs, conch soup, and lobster. Conch soup is excellent.
When locals refer to something as being "fried", they mean sauteed, not deep fried.
They use mutton peppers in their cooking, giving the rice and chicken a distinctive flavor. Trying some native dishes while visiting Roatan is definitely recommended.
You should also buy fruit from one of the many open air stands to enjoy the taste of tree ripened tropical fruit.
The fresh pineapples are so much sweeter than ones that have been shipped green to go overseas. You will also find other tropical fruits in our local markets that are not available in the United States and Europe.