The blend of different national influences – Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, English, Portuguese, Amerindian, North American – gives a distinctive flavour to Guyanese cuisine. One well-known dish, traditional at Christmas, is pepper-pot, meat cooked in bitter cassava (casareep) juice with peppers and herbs.
Seafood is plentiful and varied, as is the wide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables. The staple food is rice. In the interior wild meat is often available – try wild cow, or else labba (a small rodent).
Rum is the most popular drink. There is a wide variety of brands, all cheap, including the best which are very good and cost less than US$2 a bottle. Demerara Distillers’ produces two prize-winning brands, the 12-year-old King of Diamonds premium rum, and the 15-year-old El Dorado. High wine is a strong local rum. There is also local brandy and whisky (Diamond Club), which are worth trying. The local beer, Banks, made partly from rice is good and cheap. There is a wide variety of fruit juices. D’Aguiar’s Cream Liqueur, produced and bottled by Banks DIH Ltd, is excellent (and strong).