Roatan Food: Top Local Island Fruit

Roatan Food: Top Local Island Fruit

Traveling allows us to experience different cultures, lifestyles, environments and especially foods.  When it comes to tropical vacations, there’s always an expectation of fresh, ripe fruit.  Whether it be a garnish for an alcoholic drink, the drink itself, a fancy dessert or as a centerpiece in a meal, fresh island fruit is virtually always a welcome treat for holidaymakers.  Roatan is no exception.  Fruit plays a major role in everyday life on this Honduran island.  If you’re planning on visiting it’s good to have an idea of what you can expect.  For this reason, we’ve put together this post on Roatan food:  top local island fruit.


There’s rarely a shortage of this hipster staple on the island of Roatan.  Avocados are at their freshest in July and August, but you shouldn’t have a problem finding guacamole or smashed avocado toast at any time of year.  Avocados also play an important role in the traditional Honduran dish, the breakfast baleada.  Baleadas are Honduras’ answer to the taco.  In the breakfast baleada you’ll find eggs or beans along with avocados, queso (white cheese,) and crema fresca (fresh cream) in a warmed tortilla.  They might also include plantain, tomatoes, onions, peppers or a hot sauce.  It’s a simple, yet filling and nutritious morning meal.


For those unfamiliar with plantains, the appearance might fool you into thinking they’re a banana.  However, plantains have thicker skins and the inner flesh is much starchier than a banana.  This means plantains typically need to be cooked before being consumed.  Plantains are an ideal substitute for potatoes or rice – especially when green. 


Although mangos are quite well-known throughout the world, they’re cheap and plentiful in Roatan – one of the top local island fruits.  Mangos are in season from June to August. They have plenty of health benefits as they’re high in antioxidants, help with digestion and supposedly promote hair growth, heart function and eye health.  Because of the large seed and tough skin, it can be difficult to extract the sweet, edible flesh, but following the local method of dicing the flesh while still attached to the skin after the seed is carved away will make eating mangos easier.


It wouldn’t be a tropical island without coconuts, would it?  Young coconuts that are still green are often cracked open for their refreshing coconut water which is just as full of electrolytes as many of the fashionable sports drinks – but with far less sugar.  Ripe coconuts can be harvested for their meat which can be eaten as is or processed to create coconut milk.  


Rambutan are somewhat less known in northern climates, but this funny-looking fruit has a very sweet and tasty inside.  The fruit’s name comes from the Indonesian word for hair which you’ll appreciate as appropriate when you see the shaggy red “hairs” growing off the skin. Tear off this layer and you’ll find yourself with a golf ball-sized grape-like fruit that is sweet and moreish.  Although often mistaken for lychee fruit, rambutan is arguably even tastier!