It was a non-diving day, not by choice, but because Mother Nature was having a little fit over the seas. The winds and currents were not safe to go out, so the dive shop cancelled all the diving for the day. At first I was disappointed, but what can you do, right?! But our disappointment quickly turned around and we had a great, fun day in town. We did a local food tour that showcased local restaurants and foods. It was call the Belize Food Tour. We had a blast.
The Belize Food Tour is a walking tour that began at the central park in town. Melva was our tour guide. She was definitely the hostess with the mostest. She had the perfect personality for this tour. We went to seven different places that were small, local, family owned businesses that we might have over looked otherwise. Most of these places were so small that our group barely fit inside. They may have been small in size, but they were huge in great foods and hospitality. This is a win/win for everyone. It exposed people to small little local businesses that we might have missed AND it helps and supports the local businesses. Our group was Melva, Larry and I and 8 other people. We got to sample food at all our stops. Melva warned us from the beginning to pace ourselves because we would be sampling A LOT of really good food.
Let’s get this tour started.
- Our first stop was the Fry Jack House. A fry jack is similar to a sopapilla, and can be either sweet or savory. They let us try both versions, along with something cool and refreshing to drink. They were delicious.
The menu is simple, but everything is simply delicious.
Melva told Roberta, the momma and main cheffe, that I was a chef and the ladies let me go into the kitchen for a behind-the-scenes look at how they work their magic. Roberta has this down pat. I think she may have done this a time or two.
Once she flattens the dough, she fries it in hot vegetable oil at about 350* F for just a couple of minutes. Once the fry jack has puffed up and is ready, she drained off all the excess oil for a couple of minutes. Then she passed it on to the rest of the crew, who were her daughter and daughter-in-law, and they added the toppings.
This was every bit as good as it looks too. Larry and I enjoyed them so much we went back two more times before leaving the island.
2. The next stop was a tiny little shop where we sampled some sweet corn tamales.
Once again, we were in for a tasty treat.
3. Our third stop was the oldest ice cream shop on the island, Manelly’s. Manelly’s has been in business, serving homemade ice creams and fun since 1985.
It was a hot and sunny day and we were out walking around in the heat, so it was very cool and refreshing when we stopped in for some delicious homemade ice cream. We could either have ice cream or one of their ice cream sticks.
I chose blueberry ice cream, which was perfect.
Larry opted for a strawberry cheesecake ice cream stick.
There was even a little merry-go-round for the kids as they enjoyed their ice creams.
4. Number four on the list was Briana’s, where we had some local rice, beans and chicken. They even offered a cold local brew or lime water to help wet our whistles. Larry took the beer and I chose the cool and refreshing lime water.
Once again, our group took up most of the little restaurant.
The people in our group were very nice and we all had a fun, delicious time together.
And this is supposed to be the “sample plate”. We were already getting full. Most of us did not heed Melva’s sound advice about pacing ourselves until it was to late. But we all still kept eating everything, as full as we were. 🙂
5. Number five on the list was Saul’s Cigars and Coffee Cafe. We had some decadently delicious rum creams here. Walking around and taking a little break from the foods gave our tummies a chance to settle down a bit after all the fantastic food. Saul’s made us feel like we were in the Mayan temples.
Saul had us try three different varieties of their specialty rum creams. All were very good. We were all thinking up new and creative ways of how we would use them too.
Saul Sr. and Saul Jr. by the big coffee roaster.
Larry and I are not smokers, but for those who are, these cigars are all top quality.
Are you full yet? We’re not done. We still have two more stops to go.
6. Number six on the list was El Fogon’s, which means the fire hearth. A lot of the local cooking is done on these big fire hearths. It is the traditional way of cooking on the island.
El fogon, the fire hearth.
We started off with a round of rum punches, followed by some local appetizers. We had two different appetizers, but of course, I forgot to take pictures of them. We sampled the chicken salbutes and the salpicon. Both were very good.
Larry and I enjoyed El Fogon’s so much that we went back again for our last dinner on the island. These salpicons were one of the appetizers we tried while on our food tour.
We shared the salpicon, ceviche and a fish platter. Once again, everything was fabulous.
7. And our tour comes to an end. Our last stop was the Belize Chocolate Company. All the chocolates are locally made on the mainland and then brought over daily to San Pedro. We ended our fabulous food tour on a very sweet note indeed. None of us ate dinner this day. This was definitely a one-and-done type of day for foods, at least for us.
Coffee and chocolate are some of the main crops and exports of Belize.
Cacao beans in the table.
Larry ended his tour with a brownie and I ended mine with a lime chocolate truffle. Delicioso!
Our fabulous leader and guide, Melva, and the rest of our fun group. I highly recommend taking the Belize Food Tour to everyone https://www.facebook.com/belizefoodtours/ . We got to see and sample so many different local foods that we may have walked right on past otherwise and we learned a lot about the Belizian history as well. Melva was perfect. She was so much fun and really made our experience a memory to treasure. It also helped that our group was so much fun as well. I enjoyed this tour so much, I am seriously trying to figure out how to start doing this on my own, here at home. It works best as a walking tour, but we are very spread out here, so I have to really put on my thinking cap to figure out how I can do this and make it work.
And thus concludes not only our fabulous Belize Food Tour, but also all of our foods of Belize for this trip. I hope you enjoyed all the fabulous foods of Belize as much as we did. Til next time. 🙂