The Taste of Real Bermuda

Bermuda feels like paradise in many ways with its glorious beaches and long days of sunshine, and the sound of  gently lapping azure-blue waters of the Atlantic. However, one of its best-kept and most sensuous secrets is its food.

Bermuda makes a great destination for family holidays, romantic breaks, water-sport aficionados and nature lovers, but also for tickling the taste-buds. While only small, it’s certainly not short on incredible flavours, and no end of amazing seafood dishes over which to salivate. Above all, the island has a long and proud history of rum making and drinking, which unsurprisingly continues to thrive today!

Here are my top recommendations of dishes and beverages to try on a visit to Bermuda, and where best to stay to experience some world-class cuisine.

Food

Fish chowder is the island’s signature dish, a highly spiced, thick soup made with ground fish heads, fresh fish, salt pork, onions, tomatoes, herbs and rum. That’s only the starter however – you’ll find no shortage of seafood in Bermuda! Snapper is a very popular choice, along with tuna, wahoo, rockfish and spiny lobster. Nor is seafood just for lunch or dinner – the perfect way to start your day is with a traditional codfish breakfast. Made with dried saltcod fish, it’s boiled with potatoes and served with a sauce of onions and tomatoes, along with an array of other foods such as boiled eggs, avocados and bananas.

Jamaican-inspired grills and barbeques are also in abundance across the islands, offering the perfect accompaniment to the hot weather. For top grilled food dining, make a visit to restaurant at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, whose Sous-Chef de Cuisine, Michiko Campbell, is the creator of the fiery Chiko’s Smokey Rub seasoning which works wonders with chicken, beef, pork and seafood.

To add an extra touch of heat and sunshine to their food, Bermudans are known to reach for a bottle of Outerbridge’s Sherry Peppers sauce, particularly when serving up a traditional fish chowder dish or alongside grilled foods. For a slightly sweeter heat, they are also partial to adding Bermuda Gombey Pepper Jams to their recipes – these are named after the island’s famed Gombey dancers and they make for a great culinary gift to bring home for your own kitchen cupboards.

If you’ve added a little too much pepper to your main, then I’d suggest cooling off with some homemade ice-cream. Launched only a few years ago, Alex & Pete’s lines of artisan ice-creams are the top bestsellers here, making use of local flavours such as St George’s Black Rum & Ginger, Rum Swizzle and Riddell’s Bay Chocolate Ripple. For other local desserts, try some sweet potato pudding: made with cinnamon, cloves and citrus juice, it’s particularly enjoyed on Guy Fawkes Day (5th November) but is wonderful to try at any time of year.

Drink

Rum seems to live in the blood of Bermudans, and on a visit to the island, it’s easy to understand why – it makes for an ideal finish to a day of sun and sand. Gosling’s Rum is the most famous, with a history dating back to the early 19th century, whilst for the connoisseurs, Bermuda Black Seal Rum is suited to those of a powerful palate – at 75.5%, it’s certainly potent! If you don’t fancy your rum neat, try it in a cocktail. The two classics are Dark’n Stormy and the Rum Swizzle: just what you need for a long summer evening looking out over the marinas from a waterside bar.

“Rum is not just for drinking. Don’t miss out on Bermuda Rum Cake – visit Horton’s Bakery or Bermuda Rum Cake Bakery for a slice of the very best. The recipes are top-secret!”

Aside from rum, if you’re looking to drink something softer than the traditional choice is Barritt’s Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer, which has been refreshing Bermudans since 1874. You can also find great coffee at Devil’s Isle Coffee, where the beans are hand-roasted and blended on a small scale in order to bring out the best flavours.

For those looking to sample Bermuda’s contribution to the craft beer scene, you should make a visit to the Frog & Onion Pub, home to Dockyard Brewing Co. I’d recommend trying the Somers Amber Ale, a lovely crisp beer named after the island’s founder, Sir George Somers. This is also a wonderful place for trying some pub favourites, such as bangers and mash and a Sunday Roast, made the Bermudan way.

For more gourmet travel inspiration, read my blog on luxury fine dining destinations here.

Recommended Hotel

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club not only offers fantastic accommodation, but excellent dining at its renowned restaurant, Marcus’, named after its world-class chef Marcus Samuelsson. Not only does it boast a spectacular waterfront setting, but some of Bermuda’s most heavenly food. Fish Chowder bites are a particular highlight of the menu, based on the island’s signature dish but reimagined in croquette form and combining scallops, snapper, chorizo and spices. Fired until golden and served with rum-infused aioli, they are simply delicious. Other delights include Oysters with Black Rum Mignonette, Grilled Bermuda Onion, and Jerk Pork Belly.

Find out more.

Are your taste-buds feeling tickled? Why not get in touch with one of our advisors to help you decide your perfect holiday menu. With plenty of expertise to draw on, you could be enjoying something Dark N Stormy before you can say cheers!