How do we go about feeding the island?
With the world currently on hiatus, there is not all that much we can do about colonizing our island for the time being. But while we dream about what to build and how we could survive a pandemic on the barest of resources, we can also fantasize about what we will do on Coffee Island post Covid-19.
One of the founders of Lets Buy An Island also runs a Street Food Blog, and he considers himself quite the expert when it comes to dining around this wonderful planet of ours! Particularly when it comes to getting down and dirty people food (rather than going down the fine dining route).
We have some ideas – but we would love to hear yours! Here’s a few of our thoughts, produced over a hot stove in our kitchens, alone in quarantine.
A highlight of island visits for me is always a big beach BBQ. You can do it with minimal equipment – basically a grill and some rocks. We feel that this is one you could start very simply (particularly if we start with camping) and then expand as we can bring in more equipment. The island probably has enough wood to start with, but we would want to move over charcoal or other burners later, so we don’t run out of our beautiful trees.
When Gareth lived in Yangshuo, China he had a full outdoor kitchen, which he absolutely loved. It is easy to make a loosely covered outdoor kitchen which could be fueled by either wood, charcoal or gas. We wouldn’t be reliant on electricity and we could feed a small army in the hot Caribbean sun.
In a past life, Marshall was a cocktail bartender. He served up fine spirits and drinks for thirsty patrons at some absolutely fantastic restaurants. Margaritas, mojitos, old fashioneds – you name it, he can make it. Working in a restaurant is a thrilling adventure, and maybe we could turn our island into a destination foodie site for hungry boaters, Belizean and tourists alike. What do you think, could we build a full-service restaurant on the shores of our island?
There’s plenty of food we could import, but let’s look at what we could grow and catch right there on the island.
We mean, it’s an island, fishing is a no-brainer. The waters off of Belize are full of fish, lobster, and a whole heap of other stuff ready to be eaten. We might not be able to serve fresh sashimi (any sushi chefs want to work here?), but fresh fish and shellfish will likely be a staple of our menus.
To fish on a limited scale it could be done from the shore, but we could also set out traps for lobster. We could bring our boat out a ways to line fish in deeper water, too.
By the way, it’s worth noting that Belize has taken incredible steps towards sustainability in its fishing industry. No dragnetting or other forms of mass fishing is legal – line fishing only. It keeps the fish populations and biodiversity high and all of us very happy to keep coming back for snorkeling and scuba diving!
In a warm ocean climate like ours, we could grow all sorts of fruits and veggies! Coconuts? Mangoes? The world is our oyster, and the weather is perfect for growing.
Chickens are cheap and easy to keep and they lay eggs. Enough said! They could also be a good source of food.
We have spent a lot of time touring some of the least visited countries on earth, and have witnessed the obsession with spam and corned beef first-hand. Neither of them are particularly healthy, but they keep well and provide a lot of energy. In survival mode, this might be the way to go!
Those are our very rudimentary thoughts on how we might start the Islandian culinary scene! Do you have any different ideas?
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