Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

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Top Image: Pirates in a tavern (smile4u/Adobe Stock)

Fine Dining With The Pirates Of The Caribbean

Caribbean cuisine was certainly founded by pirates. Images of filibusters as ragamuffins gnawing bugs in some cell, or perhaps scraping the bottom of some barrel adrift in the Caribbean, hunting for prey, or that of pirates getting drunk in front of taverns in Tortuga, Petit-Goave or Port Royal, Jamaica are popular depictions. Certainly such scenes were part of their lives, as theirs were not an easy life at that time, and revelry and orgies formed an integral part of that vision. But it would be a mistake to believe that buccaneers and privateers did not enjoy the refinements of cuisine.

Father Labat Dining with the Pirates

"We dined very merrily and with appetite. I had had wine and brandy brought, but my slave had forgotten the bread. I did not worry too much. I ate as they did, the buccaneers of the cayo, roasted bananas, or boiled with meat and pork fat, accompanying it all with sauces and chili. Whether the air, the road and the novelty had given me more appetite than usual, or the meat was more tender and appetizing, I ate almost four pounds of it. We slept soundly. Hunger woke us up, more than daylight." These are the words of Father Jean-Baptiste Labat in his best-selling book, Nouveau voyage aux iles de l'Amerique (1742).

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Labat (1663-1738), a French explorer and historian. Engraving derived from Labat's work, Nouveau voyage aux isles de l'Amerique (1742) (Public Domain)

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Labat (1663-1738), a French explorer and historian. Engraving derived from Labat's work, Nouveau voyage aux isles de l'Amerique (1742) (Public Domain)


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