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What’s Eaten Where: Bermuda

The Bermuda Triangle. So, is it real? Known locally as the Devil’s Triangle or Hurricane Alley, this loosely-defined area of the North Atlantic is said to be a bit of a black hole for shipping and aircraft – a place where an unusual number of vessels and planes have mysteriously vanished. But most reputable sources dismiss the idea wholeheartedly – and any lingering doubts are certainly not stopping the locals from enjoying life on Bermuda to the max.

Said to have inspired everyone from Kipling (who passed through on his travels) to Shakespeare (Bermuda may, it’s been suggested, be the setting for the events of The Tempest), a great deal has been written about the delights of this North Atlantic archipelago of nearly 200 islets. Granted, it’s one of the most heavily populated areas in the world, there’s no natural source of freshwater around, and it’s super expensive, but it’s still a glorious place to visit, what with its pink sand beaches, friendly people, and exotic history.

Once a bit of a base for pirates, today, the oldest remaining British Overseas Territory is basically a tourist economy. A paradise for divers and boasting more golf courses per person than any other country, it’s a holiday haven for the wealthy which still retains much of its local charm. And its traditional cuisine…

Bermuda fish chowder is considered to be the official fare of the islands, a British dish which came over in the 1600s with the first colonists. Succeeding generations have worked their island magic and, today, the dish is unique to the territory: lighter than the usual chowder, and more akin to a bouillabaisse.

The dish begins with a rich and flavoursome stock made from fresh local deboned fish (heads and tails are thrown in for good measure; the best recipes are said to use whole boiled fish carcasses!). Celery, garlic, peppers, potatoes, carrots, parsley, and onions are added to the mix, along with various sauces and the whole is simmered for up to three hours.

While the perfect recipe for Bermuda fish chowder is hotly contested among locals, every dish is traditionally accompanied by a splash of sherry peppers and black rum. Making for a chowder that certainly packs a punch, and goes down a treat with either of the equally alcoholic national drinks – the Rum Swizzle and the Dark ‘N’ Stormy.

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