Belize Cuisine Traditions – Sere, Hudut, Creole Bread and Coconut Milk

Belize Fish Sere - traditional dish
Hudut with Belize Fish Sere

The Creole Fish Seré is similar to a dish from the Garifuna culture, called hudut. There are two main types of hudut – one made with coconut milk, similar to the seré described above, but made with mashed half-ripe plantain. The other type does not use coconut milk and may be compared to a spicy fish soup – of course, less spice to taste. If you are really brave, you can toss a pepper” into the mix! Belizean pepper sauce is famous, whether it’s the hot habanero or the more temperate jalapeno!

Before we leave the versatile coconut, we’d be remiss not to mention that every single part of the coconut has some use: the dried husk for ornamental arts and for getting the fire going in a bar-b-cue; the water as a refreshing beverage or as a mixer with alcoholic drinks; the meat grated for its milk for uses as described above, or in other preparations, like the distinctive coconut-flavored taste of Creole bread and bun.

The dried grated coconut meat, after you mix with water and squeeze out its milk, provides the basis for many Belizean desserts. Like coconut pie and tarts, coconut crust (the grated coconut is sweetened with sugar and baked in a flour crust folded over like a patty), tablata, which is the grated coconut meat mixed with thin ginger slices, sugar and water, baked and cut into squares; there is also the version called cut-o-brute, which is made of chunks of coconut instead of the grated pieces; and then there is trifle, made with half green grated coconut, milk, flour, sugar, eggs, lemon essence, margarine and baking powder (think of it as coconut cake), and coconut fudge and coconut ice cream to mention just some of the delicious coconut-based desserts.

Now let’s get a quick taste of some of the other traditional Belizean cuisine regulars which you can find on most menus. Often, restaurants will earmark a particular item for a particular day of the week (with rice-and-beans always daily!).