Indigenous Food and Culture in Moraikobai, Guyana

My second incredible day in Moraikobai village in the rainforests of Guyana began with more amazing activities and peeks into indigenous food and culture. Come with me as I try some delicious baked & salt fish at a cook-up in the middle of the jungle!

We started at 7 a.m. for a traditional breakfast of bake and saltfish. First, I watched a local woman named Mary boil the fish and strip it from its bones. Then, they fry the fish pieces with tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, shallots, and other vegetables. It’s like a type of choka.

Indigenous Food Breakfast

Freshly made saltfish is a popular indigenous food in Moraikobai, Guyana | Davidsbeenhere

Mary already had the dough for the bake ready, and put on a tapioca porridge, and a fever grass tea. It helps take away your fever. Outside, I smelled some lemongrass before heading back inside the kitchen to watch them build the bake and saltfish.

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In another pot, they started making some tasso, which is a dried beef stew. I tried a bit of the fish. It was very buttery!

Then, she put some oil in the pan as they rolled out the bake dough. They fried it in the oil until it puffed up, almost like a puri in India! I even got to try rolling it out. Then, finally, it was time to eat!

Next, a woman named Candice brought me a plate of wiri wiri peppers, which were really hot! Then, I tried a type of tea made from a local plant called capadulla. Then, I opened up the bake to put the salt fish inside. I loved the fluffy, flaky bread and the mix of vegetables and fish. Indigenous food is extremely tasty!

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Of course, I had to add some pepper sauce. It had some heat, but it wasn’t so bad because of all the other ingredients! Next, I tried some hard cassava bread with avocado, followed by tapioca porridge made from cassava.

It had a jelly-like consistency from the tapioca pearls and had a nice sweetness to it. Finally, we finished with some herbal lemongrass tea and pineapple! The pineapple was so sweet and juicy!

Jungle Hike in Moraikobai

Exploring the jungles near Moraikobai, Guyana with my local guide | Davidsbeenhere

After breakfast, we went on a 30-minute hike down a trail through the jungle to see if we could see any local wildlife. They showed me a capadulla vine and a plant that they strip and use its fibers for weaving.

We reached a savannah area, where deer, rabbits, and savannah foxes live. But we didn’t see any, as people walk along this trail all the time. But it was very peaceful and relaxing to be out in nature!

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Back at the lodge, I hung out in the hammock and took a 30-minute nap before it was time to have more indigenous food for lunch!

Guyanese Indigenous Food Lunch

The indigenous food I enjoyed in Moraikobai include cook-up rice and fried trout | Davidsbeenhere

They gave me some fresh coconut water before grating the coconut meat into a bowl. Then, they rinse the coconut meat to get rid of the milk.

They added water to the coconut and squeezed it over and over again to remove the milk. The more you do it, the creamier the milk! Then, they add rice and spices to a large pot called a karahi, along with wiri wiri peppers, beef, black-eyed peas, peppers, onions, and the coconut milk. Then, it simmers and just cooks down.

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Our indigenous food feast would consist of the cook-up rice, fried trout, and cucumber on a large plantain leaf. We also had a refreshing lime juice called swank. The beef and coconut milk in the cook-up were unbelievable. I also loved the crispy, flaky trout. What an incredible Indigenous meal.

We ended with cassava cheesecake, which Mary made with milk, cassava bread, eggs, nutmeg, and cheese. It was like a custardy pudding with cherries and had a lot of flavor!

Then, a local woman gave me a necklace and a headdress they’d made me. The necklace ensures I’d come back. It was so kind! Next, we took a two-hour boat ride up the creek back to the car. What an unforgettable indigenous food and culture experience!

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