The Caribbean Culinary Federation, with hundreds of resorts and restaurant chefs as members, is focused on producing and maintaining memorable, high quality Caribbean cuisine.
Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Cozumel and Cuba offer Spanish specialties including rich black bean soup, succulent seafood paella and fried plantains.
Food in the French islands is outstanding. Some joke that St. Bart's beaches, however magnificent, are just places to kill time between gourmet meals. Guadeloupe has an annual festival, "Fete des Cuisineres," focused entirely on cooks and cooking (eating, too) as part of the event.
Jamaica is known for its favorite breakfast, codfish with ackee, and for pungent, aromatic jerk spiced chicken and pork, pit-barbecued outdoors.
Flying fish (watch them skim the surface of the sea) is the national dish in Barbados. Buy some packaged to take home.
"Mountain chicken," actually large frogs legs, are a delicacy in the Eastern Caribbean.
The Dutch islands feature an Indonesian-influenced "rijstaffel" (rice table), an interesting buffet with an assortment of subtle flavors and "keshi yena," specialty, a hearty stuffed gouda cheese.
Breadfruit, a Caribbean diet staple, was brought to St. Vincent from Tahiti by Captain Bligh. Grenada is a world-renowned producer of nutmeg (try the ice cream) and other spices.
Emphasis on a healthy diet is region-wide. With locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables (bananas, mangos, guavas, soursoup, sweetsop, papayas, pears (avocados), christophine and others) and straight-from-the-sea ingredients (including succulent Caribbean lobster), interesting, light menu items are "naturals".
Fast food restaurants, offering convenience and budget pricing to delight families with children, have also appeared throughout the region.