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BVI Recipes

BVI Recipes

An army marches on its stomach, and a Sunsail crew is no different. You can tell a lot about a culture from the food and drink its people consume, and we have collated a series of recipes to help you recreate some of the BVI’s favourite flavours, at home and on the water. So get your chef’s hat on, and see if you can add a little Caribbean spice to your galley staples.  


1. Meat pate

Pate (pronounced PAH-TEH) are fried dough patties filled with various meats including beef, chicken, conch, or saltfish. They are a popular snack (similar to an empanada). Best served hot, they are also delicious cold.

Step I. Pastry

4 cups flour
4 level tablespoons unsalted vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water


Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in shortening with knives or pastry blender. Add water gradually to form a soft dough. Knead gently on a floured board for a few minutes. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Shape into small balls, roll out and cut into size circles desired for turnovers.

Step II. Filling

1/2 lb. lean ground pork AND 1/2 lb. ground beef; OR 1 lb. ground beef 
1 large sweet pepper
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon minced parsley
2 tablespoons margarine
1 clove garlic, crushed
Hot pepper to taste (optional)
1/4 cut tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs


Sauté pork in margarine until brown, usually about 10 minutes, add beef and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for a few minutes longer (make sure beef is cooked, no longer pink) If filling seems very dry add a little water. Step III. Prepare and Cook Place filling on each circle of dough, leaving edge bare, moisten edge with water, turn over and seal meat inside dough by pressing moist edge together with fork. Fry in hot deep fat, until dough in golden brown

2. Watermelon mango gazpacho coolers with fresh caribbean lobster


1 large watermelon, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
2 green onions, finely chopped (all of the white and 1 inch of the green)
1 tbs chopped cilantro
2 tsp of grated fresh ginger
½ jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 cooked lobster tail
1 lime, juice only
Salt and pepper to taste


Puree some of the seeded diced watermelon in your blender to equal 6 cups. Place in a large bowl and combine all other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 1 hour. You can skip this if all your ingredients were good and cold. Slice lobster in medallions and marinate for one hour in the juice of one lime. Pour gazpacho into bowls or glasses and garnish with lobster medallions.

3. Baked Plantain Chips

These BVI treats are universally adored, and perfect for a picnic.


2 pounds plantains or green bananas, scored, peeled, and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Pico de Gallo, for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Divide plantains between two rimmed baking sheets. Toss with oil, then arrange in a single layer on sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating sheets and flipping plantains halfway through. Drain plantains on paper towels. Serve with Pico de Gallo, if desired.


1. Painkiller Cocktail


• 2 ounces Pusser’s rum
• 4 ounces pineapple juice
• 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
• 1 ounce cream of coconut
• Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated
• Garnish: pineapple wedge


Add the rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously but briefly to combine. Strain into a hurricane glass or snifter over crushed ice. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge. Serve with a straw.

2. Passionfruit juice

Buy five or six tropical passion fruit – the yellow kind. They need to be crinkly but not rotten. Don’t let the look put you off because they need to be very ripe to make the juice.


Cut each in half and scoop out the flesh into a blender. Add about 3 times the amount of water and run the blender for a minute or so.The black seed will separate from the jelly. Don’t over blend as the seeds will break up and create a grit. Pour the mixture into a large jug or bowl through a sieve to catch the seeds. Rub in the mixture in the sieve to get every drop. Add about three times as much cold water again and sugar to taste. Use a teaspoon to taste the juice until you get the right amount. You may still need to add more water, but do it cautiously as you don’t want to make the juice too weak.

Run the juice through a funnel into a jug or bottle and cool. 5 passion fruit will make around 2 1⁄2 liters (0.7 US gal) of juice, so make sure your bottle is large enough.
Enjoy straight from the fridge, with ice, or as a cocktail with rum or vodka!

3. Sorrel


• 1oz. dried sorrel
• 3 slices of fresh ginger (1 inch thick)
• 1 tablespoon cloves
• 1 piece dried orange peel
• sugar – 10 cups boiling water
• A few grains of rice
• Optional Ingredient – 1/4 cup white or dark rum


Put water and ginger slices in a large saucepan. Cover and boil well for 3 minutes. Place sorrel, cloves and orange peel in a jar with boiling ginger-water mixture. Allow mixture to sit for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and sweeten to taste (Sorrel is quite tart, so a couple cups of sugar may be necessary.) Add rum. Pour liquid into glass bottle adding a few grains of rice to each bottle. The grains of rice are said to help quicken fermentation. Leave bottles of sorrel un-chilled for a minimum of 24 hours before serving.



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