Food in Guyana
Guyanese cuisine, like the country as a whole, is a Creole fusion.
If there is a dominant cuisine, it is the dishes influenced by the Indian subcontinent that have been localised. The best known are curries, including chicken, pork, beef, pumpkin and aubergine. The larger roti shops and those by the sea offer prawns, crab and other seafood. Curries are traditionally served with roti, an Indian bread, or rice.
Guyana’s national dish is pepperpot, a slow-cooked stew made from pork (or other meat), red pepper (capsicum), cinnamon and casareep. Dark in colour and strong in flavour, it is usually reserved for special occasions such as Christmas, but you can find restaurants in Georgetown that serve this dish all year round. Pepperpot is eaten with white bread or roti.
Chinese restaurants are common, with noodle dishes such as chow mein and lo mein, as well as meat and rice dishes. The growing Brazilian population has led to the opening of several barbecue and churrascaria restaurants in the capital and near the border in Lethem.
Georgetown has a wider variety of dining options than anywhere else in the country. There are a few steakhouses, upscale colonial restaurants, European dishes and Indian food. Smaller towns may only have restaurants that serve a Creole menu of a few dishes, which almost always includes a curry or two and a noodle dish.
In the jungle lodges, food may be limited to canned goods and rice, as well as what can be caught or grown locally.
Drinks in Guyana
The most popular national drink is Caribbean-style dark rum. National favourites include XM “10” Year OLD, produced by local drinks giant Banks DIH Limited, as well as El Dorado and X-tra Mature, both of which offer 5, 10, 12 and 25 year old varieties.
El Dorado also has a 15 year old variety that has won the ‘best rum in the world’ award since 1999. Mix the cheaper ones with Coke or coconut water if you like. All are of sufficient quality to be consumed neat or on their own, with the 25 year old comparable to a top quality Scotch whisky.
Banks Beer, produced by local drinks giant Banks DIH Limited, is the national beer. It is available in both lager and milk stout. The drinks giant also bottles and distributes Heineken beer and Guinness Stout under licence.
Also available are the lighter Carib (Trinidad and Tobago) and the darker Mackeson’s. Guinness is brewed locally under licence and is slightly sweeter than its Irish counterpart, but just as good. Polar (Venezuelan) and Skol (Brazilian) are found throughout the country. Heineken and Corona can also be found in Georgetown’s more upscale bars.