The San Pedro Farmers Market, Ambergris Caye, Belize / San Pedro Farmers Market Facebook Page
Many visitors to Belize come to the country unsure about what to expect when it comes to the local food. Belize, however, is famous for its fresh-caught seafood and organic produce, and one of the best places to learn more about food in Belize is at one of the country's open-air markets.
At the open-air markets in towns like San Pedro and San Ignacio, a combination of permanent shops and roadside stalls sell a dazzling array of local goods, including items you might not expect such as artisanal cheese made domestically in Belize. Ian Anderson, the founder of the Caves Branch Lodge in central Belize, brought in a number of award-winning cheesemakers in order to develop a line of world-class cheese products, including smoked and aged varieties.
But the open-air markets of towns in Belize such as San Pedro and San Ignacio are much more than just a place where vendors come to sell their wares. Locals use the farmer's markets as an informal meet-up, coming just as much to trade gossip as to buy delicious fruits, vegetables, seafood, and dairy. Artisans and healers also use the markets to sell a wide variety of items, including traditional medicinal compounds, homemade pasta, bagels, and even handmade dog treats.
Many visitors are surprised to find items such as aged cheeses or bagels on sale in Belize, but the country has been undergoing a culinary revolution. Many of the country's finest cooks, farmers, and food producers use the open air markets of Belize to showcase both traditional and international foods. And, as consumer become increasingly conscious about the origins and impact of growing their food, the open-air markets in Belize have responded by selling organic produce, free-range eggs, fresh-baked bread, and other eco-responsible items.
The markets of Belize also serve as an impromptu festival, so don't be surprised if you hear live music being played or other events ongoing when you visit the market. Many locals come to the market simply to enjoy good food and drink with their friends and family. Some open-air markets also feature games and other activities that can be enjoyed by both visitors and locals alike. Open-air markets in Belize are both a great way to sample some of the finest food in the country as well as enjoy a slice of daily life.
If you'd like to enjoy a Belize culinary vacation or learn more about the local cultures in the country, make your booking with Adventures in Belize.