Experiencing local food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a country’s culture when you’re traveling. However, how do you recapture your memories of the cuisine when you arrive back home? Try taking cooking classes so you can recreate your favorite dishes. If you’re traveling in Aruba, you’ll definitely appreciate the instruction of a local chef, since the cuisine in Aruba has a complex mixture of influences from many regions around the world. A local chef can help you understand these influences so you can enjoy the local food to the fullest.
After you meet your instructor and don your apron, your anticipation rises as you listen to descriptions of the Dutch, Caribbean, and South American elements of the local food in Aruba. Sure, you’ve heard about things like Caribbean jerk seasoning and expect lots of seafood in an island nation like Aruba, but other dishes such as keshi yena are intriguing and less well known. Brought over by the Dutch, this dish starts with a hollowed-out Edam cheese rind. A spiced meat and vegetable mixture gets stuffed inside the rind and it is baked until the whole thing is gooey—and delicious. The more you hear about this dish, the more your fingers itch to make one yourself.
Aruba is an island, after, all, so you can’t overlook the seafood. Learn how to make traditional frekedel fish cakes, along with their conventional side dishes, pan bati, a wheat and corn-flour pancake, or funchi, a cornmeal loaf similar to polenta. Or, perhaps you’re interested in the South American influence on Aruban cuisine and want to learn how to make a juicy churrasco (grilled skirt steak) with some tangy chimichurri sauce. The great thing about cooking classes is that they are adaptable to your tastes and interests.
There are so many places to take cooking classes in Aruba, from dedicated cooking schools to hotels. Try the Food Factory at Superfood Aruba, where a gleaming new kitchen awaits you and you’ll receive personalized instruction on how to make local food. Also, look for classes at your hotel. Many hotels, such as the Aruba Marriott, have special classes given by the executive chef in which you can learn how to make Aruban cuisine.