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Bahamian cuisine is the food and beverage culture of the Bahamas. Bahamian cuisine often includes fish, shellfish, lobster, crab, and other seafood. Tropical fruits, rice, peas, pigeon peas, potatoes, and pork are widely incorporated. Some common seasonings used in dishes include chilies, lime, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, rum and coconut. Rum-based beverages are also popular on the island.
Notable culinary variations exist across the multitude of islands in the Bahamas. Many specialty dishes are available at roadside stands, beach side, and in fine dining establishments. Festivals include Independence Day (Bahamas) on July 10, during which inhabitants prepare special dishes like guava duff. Fox Hill Day (second Tuesday in August), and Emancipation Day are also celebrated..
Bahamian cooking has been somewhat influenced by the American South. A large portion of Bahamian foodstuffs are imported into the economy of the Bahamas. International cuisine is offered, especially at international hotels. In contrast to the offerings in the city of Nassau, Bahamas and the many hotels, "shack" type restaurants (including Goldies and Twin Brothers) are located at Arawak Cay on West Bay Street about 15 minutes from downtown Nassau and 25 minutes from Atlantis Paradise Island resort. Travellers Rest outside of town is also known for "local" foods.
Bahamian traditions and food have been exported to other countries with emigrants. Coconut Grove, Florida celebrates the Goombay Festival in June, transforming the area's Grand Avenue into a Carnival (Caribbean Carnival) in celebration of Bahamian culture, Bahamian food and Caribbean music (Junkanoo). Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida includes a two-day street party known as Goombay held in Key West's Bahama Village neighborhood. It is named after the goombay goatskin drums that generate the party's rhythms and held in celebration of the heritage of Key West's large Bahamian population with food, art, and dancing.
Pigeon peas and rice (peas and rice) are a dish shared with other areas of the Caribbean. Peas are also used in soup with dumplings and salt beef; split pea and ham soup; and for other soups with pea-based broths. Souse is also eaten.
Bahamian cuisine includes many tropical fruits. Guavas are used to make Duff (dessert). Ice cream is popular including in fruit flavors such as soursop. Puddings are eaten including a sapodilla pudding. Papaya (called pawpaw or melon tree) is the most famous Bahamian fruit and is used for chutneys, "Goombay" marmalade (made with papaya, pineapple, and green ginger), desserts or eaten fresh at breakfast. Papaya is also used as a meat tenderizer and for tropical drinks such as the Bahama Mama. Melons, pineapples, passion fruit, and mangoes are also grown.
Beverages include coconut water which is sometimes blended with sweet milk and gin. Switcha is made with native limes. Desserts include tarts and duff (food). Some settlements have festivals associated with the traditional crop or food of that area, such as the Pineapple Fest in Gregory Town, Eleuthera.
Alcoholic beverage include rum, which is also used in mixed drinks such as rum punch. Kalik is Bahamian beer. Local drinks, including the Yellow Bird (cocktail), the Bahama Mama, and the Goombay Smash. Planter's Punch is also popular. Nassau Royale is a Bahamian liqueur and is used to make the C. C. Rider.
Seafood is a staple in the Bahamas. Conch (pronounced konk) served raw in lime juice and spices or deep-fried ("cracked conch" and conch fritters), steamed, used in soups (especially conch chowder), served in stews or in salads. Clawless spiny lobster (also known as rock lobster) is also a specialty as well as crab. Fresh fish includes grouper and is often served fried, sautéed, grilled or, more traditionally, boiled and offered with grits. Another specialty dish is stew fish, made with celery, onions, tomatoes and spices.