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7 staple foods you need to keep in your Caribbean pantry

7 staple foods you need to keep in your Caribbean pantry

A well-stocked pantry is like a treasure chest. We store our favorite snacks, cookies, chocolate, cooking sauces, gourmet oils, etc. We keep staple foods that help us prepare nutritious meals for ourselves and our families. 

What is the definition of staple foods?

Staple foods are foods that we consider invaluable in our kitchen. These types of foods have multiple uses and are seldom bought in bulk because of their low prices. Staple foods such as rice and beans help us create several invaluable recipes in the kitchen.

The difference between kitchen pantries around the world

Staple food’s definition is simple and is the same everywhere. These foods can be stored easily throughout the year, nutritious, and easy to find.

There isn’t much difference between kitchen pantries around the world. The difference may be, for example, the type of rice or the type of beans, as well as how the food is prepared.

Foods you need to keep in your Caribbean pantry.

A pantry concept is to store food supplies and essential ingredients you need to prepare your homemade food.

Here’s a list of the most common foods found in a Caribbean pantry.


Rice is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population. There are many rice varieties, and the recipes vary from sweet, salty, and savory dishes.

Beans are high in protein, carbohydrates, folate, and iron. and can be cooked in many different ways.

bulgur wheat

Bulgur Wheat is a minimally processed grain, a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Cracked Bulgur Wheat is an excellent substitute for rice dishes.

Cornmeal is made from ground yellow corn, contains a good amount of carbohydrates and iron. It is sold in different textures, fine, coarse, and flour forms.


Flour is a powder ground made from grains. It is an excellent protein, vitamins, fiber, carbohydrates, and low fat and cholesterol.

Oatmeal is a coarse flour made of hulled oat grains (groats) that have either been milled (ground) or steel-cut—a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. Olive Oil contains a large number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

We need to remember that not all Caribbean pantries are the same. You will find most of the common food above on a shopping list.

Recipe ideas to try

Here’s a short list of the must-have ingredient

Here is a list of 7 must-haves:

  1. Rice: Rice is a staple food in most Caribbean cuisines. It is often served with beans, meat, or seafood and can be used to make a variety of dishes, such as rice and peas, arroz con pollo, and paella.
  1. Beans: Beans are another important staple in Caribbean cuisine. They are a good source of protein and fiber and can be used to make a variety of dishes, such as red bean soup, bean stew, and black-eyed peas.
  1. Plantains: Plantains are a type of starchy banana that is commonly used in Caribbean cuisine. They can be fried, boiled, baked, or mashed and can be used to make various dishes, such as tostones, maduros, and mofongo.
  1. Coconut: Coconut is a versatile ingredient that is used in many Caribbean dishes. Coconut milk can be used to make curries, stews, and desserts. Coconut oil can be used to cook, and coconut flakes can be used to add flavor and texture to dishes.
  1. Allspice: Allspice is a spice that is made from the dried berries of the pimento tree. It is a key ingredient in many Caribbean dishes, including jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, and pumpkin soup.
  1. Scotch bonnet peppers: Scotch bonnet peppers are a type of chili pepper that is known for its extreme heat. They are used sparingly in Caribbean cuisine to add flavor and spiciness to dishes.
  1. Molasses: Molasses is a thick, sweet syrup that is made from sugarcane. It adds sweetness and flavor to Caribbean dishes, such as jerk sauce, barbecue sauce, and desserts.
  2. Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used to add flavor and depth to many Caribbean dishes. It is often used in stews, curries, and sauces, and can also be used to make marinades and rubs.

The Caribbean Pantry is somewhat similar to many other cultures’ pantries. You will find the essentials, the regulars, and the use-as-needed basis ingredients.

The recipes and flavors of the Caribbean are unmistakable. Fresh herbs and spices are common ingredients used in recipes. The main goal is to create a budget and budgeting goals to keep your grocery cost manageable.

No matter what your Caribbean food cravings are, with these 7 staple foods in your pantry, you’re sure to be able to whip up something delicious.


  • Healthline.com
  • Webmd.com

Photo credits: Canva.com

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