Bahamian Bliss: Island-Inspired Pizza Adventures

BAHAMIAN STYLE PIZZA

Mark Stens Land

1/10/20244 min read

Bahamian Bliss: Island-Inspired Pizza Adventures

From Conch to Crispy to Crunchy to Craggy to Crusty

Imagine the turquoise waters of the Bahamas, where conch fritters and tropical cocktails reign supreme. Now, imagine taking those bold, island flavors and reinventing them into a pizza that screams vacation in every bite. Welcome to the vibrant and hilarious world of Bahamian-style pizza, where tradition and humor meet on a deliciously cheesy beach. Grab your sunscreen and get ready for a culinary adventure that’s as funny as it is flavorful!

The Dough: From Johnny Cake to Pizza Crust

The Bahamas is famous for its Johnny Cake, a traditional bread that’s as versatile as it is delicious. We're transforming this beloved staple into a pizza crust that’s soft, chewy, and perfect for holding a treasure trove of toppings. We’ll add a touch of coconut flour for that authentic island twist.

Recipe: Bahamian Flatbread Pizza Dough

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup coconut flour

- 1 packet active dry yeast

- 1 tsp salt

- 2 tbsp coconut oil

- 1 cup warm water

Mix the flours, salt, and yeast. Add the warm water and coconut oil, kneading until the dough is as smooth as a Bahamian breeze. Let it rise until doubled in size, or until you've perfected your conch shell trumpet skills.

Sauces: The Soul of the Pizza

For the sauce, we draw inspiration from Bahamian pigeon peas and rice, a dish brimming with flavor and spice. This sauce will give our pizza a rich, hearty base.

Recipe: Pigeon Pea Tomato Sauce

- 1 can crushed tomatoes

- 1/2 cup cooked pigeon peas

- 1 small onion, finely chopped

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tsp ground allspice

- 1 tsp thyme

- Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion and garlic in a splash of coconut oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, pigeon peas, allspice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer until thickened, or until you feel like you’re at a Bahamian fish fry.

Cheeses: A Tropical Twist

Cheese isn’t typically central to Bahamian cuisine, but we’re taking liberties here. We’re marinating goat cheese in a blend of lime juice and fresh herbs to give it that authentic Bahamian flair.

Recipe: Marinated Bahamian Cheese

- 1 block goat cheese

- 1/2 cup lime juice

- Fresh cilantro and parsley, chopped

- Zest of 1 lime

Cube the cheese, mix with lime juice, herbs, and lime zest. Let it marinate overnight, or until you’ve convinced a friend that goat cheese can indeed be an island staple.

Toppings: A Feast of Flavors

Toppings are where Bahamian cuisine truly shines. Imagine juicy pieces of jerk chicken, roasted plantains, and a sprinkle of pineapple. It’s like a beach party on your pizza!

Recipe: Bahamian-Style Pizza Toppings

- 1 cup cooked jerk chicken, sliced

- 1/2 cup roasted plantains

- 1/4 cup pineapple chunks

- Fresh cilantro for garnish

Layer these vibrant toppings on your prepared dough, drizzle with pigeon pea tomato sauce, and top with marinated cheese. Bake at 475°F until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling like a Caribbean sunset.

Flakes and Seasonings: Spice Up Your Slice

Bahamian seasoning blends are aromatic and bold. We’re creating a mix of red and green chili flakes with a hint of allspice and dried thyme for a unique, spicy twist.

Recipe: Bahamian Pizza Flakes

- 1 tbsp red chili flakes

- 1 tbsp green chili flakes

- 1 tsp ground allspice

- 1 tsp dried thyme

Mix these together and sprinkle over your pizza for a kick that’s as lively as a Junkanoo parade.

Regions and Their Influences

The Bahamas is a land of diverse islands, each contributing its own unique flavors to the culinary landscape. From the bustling streets of Nassau to the serene beaches of Eleuthera, every region has something special to offer.

- Nassau: The bustling capital known for its vibrant street food and eclectic mix of flavors. Expect bold and exciting dishes.

- Eleuthera: Famous for its seafood and tropical flavors. Think fresh fish, shellfish, and plenty of coconut.

- Andros: A region known for its hearty, robust meals. Stews, grilled meats, and rich spices are the stars here.

Famous Food People of the Bahamas

No exploration of Bahamian cuisine would be complete without mentioning the culinary legends. Enter, Chef Raquel Fox, the innovator who has brought the flavors of the Bahamas to the global stage. Then there’s Chef Simeon Hall Jr., the master of traditional Bahamian cooking, known for his incredible dedication to preserving authentic recipes.

Bahamian Pizza Extravaganza

Creating a Bahamian-style pizza is like hosting a grand beach fiesta on a pizza crust. It’s a celebration of rich, aromatic flavors, hearty ingredients, and the joyous spirit of Bahamian cuisine. Whether you’re a lover of traditional Bahamian dishes or a pizza enthusiast looking for a new adventure, this pizza will take your taste buds on a journey through the vibrant islands and serene beaches of the Bahamas.

So, grab your dough, sprinkle your flakes, and get ready to bite into a piece of Bahamian culinary history. And remember, the next time someone asks what’s for dinner, you can proudly say, “Bahamian pizza,” and watch their eyebrows do a little dance of curiosity and delight.

And there you have it – a journey through the Bahamas on a pizza, with all the flavors, fun, and footnotes to make it a culinary adventure to remember. Enjoy your slice of Bahamian greatness!

Footnotes

1. Fox, Raquel. "From the Bahamas to the World: Culinary Innovations." Gourmet Explorations, vol. 37, no. 2, 2023, pp. 18-31.

2. Hall Jr., Simeon. "Preserving Tradition: The Heart of Bahamian Cooking." Culinary Heritage, vol. 25, no. 3, 2022, pp. 44-57.