I learned the hard way that Belize is not where you go if you want to practice your Spanish. This was the first of many revelations about the small, Caribbean-adjacent country, about which I embarrassingly knew next to nothing prior to visiting – including the fact that the national language is English. It turns out Belize is rich with a diverse cultural identity (Caribbean, Latin American, Mayan, etc), much of which comes through the food. Local ingredients are used ubiquitously, and almost nothing goes through any kind of processing, characterizing Belizean cuisine as fresh, local, and undeniably appetizing.
Here’s a collection of my favorite dishes from a recent three-week exploration through Belize, a country that is so much more than its beaches.