The food in Aruba shares its heritage with other countries in the Caribbean and shows the influences of African, East Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian, and European peoples. The United States has also had an impact on the typical cuisine of Aruba. There are numerous eateries that offer traditional dishes like pumpkin soup and a cold soup made of lime juice, apricot nectar, pineapple, cantaloupe, and papaya. Five traditional Aruban dishes are listed below.
1. Snacks: Cala and Bollita di Keshi
Cala is a traditional dish made from bean fritters and is commonly eaten as a snack. Another common snack is Bollita di Keshi, which is made of eggs and white and yellow cheeses and then formed into a ball and deep-fried. It is especially loved by children.
2. Sopi di Pampuna (Pumpkin Soup)
This soup is typical of the Caribbean and can be found in many restaurants throughout Aruba. Its deep orange color derives from the seed of the annatto tree, which is called Ruku. The seeds are heated in a cup of hot oil, which stand until the oil absorbs their color. The seeds are then discarded, and a few teaspoons of the oil are added to the pumpkin base of the soup,
3. Aruban Ceviche
Aruba is famous for its freshly caught seafood, including the red snapper that is used to make this version of ceviche. The dish consists of red onions, tomatoes, papaya hot sauce, and various local herbs and spices to provide a delightful Aruban treat.
This is Aruba’s answer to polenta. It is made of cornmeal cooked in water with salt and butter. When the water boils, the heat is set very low and the mixture continues to cook until stiff. It can be served with either sweet or savory dishes but is most typically served as a side dish to soups and stews. Fried funchi is the choice for this option.
5. Cabrito Stoba
A traditional Aruban goat stew that can be found all over the country. It is similar to other Caribbean stews.
This Aruban goat stew is similar to other island stews and is commonly served with local spices and herbs, along with potatoes. It can also include a little bit of curry.