You’ve heard the saying “Early bird catches the worm!” before, which simply means who arrives first has the best chance of being successful. That’s how we’d like to think it is when it comes to arriving first at the family table for a Belizean breakfast! In a world in which there are over 7,000 estimated languages, there’s one that is in many ways universal – food. Can fry jacks be a universal love language?
With a rich cultural heritage, Belizean cuisine reflects the country’s nation encompassing a blend of Mayan, Mestizo, Creole, Indian, Chinese, Garifuna, and Mennonite ethnicities making it one of the most popular attractions to visit Belize.
Breakfast in Belize is not for those who have a small appetite. A true Belizean breakfast consists of a full home-style spread. A feast! Sure there’s the standard toast or tortillas, but one of the must-haves when in Belize is the famous fry jacks. It is delicious soft pieces of fried flour dough in the shape of triangles or half-moons. It can be whipped up in less than thirty minutes, and it surely hits the spot!
The Typical Belizean Breakfast
The delightful puffy treat is perfectly paired with a side of eggs (scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, any way you want it!), refried beans, sausage or bacon, and cheese. Ever heard of stuffed fry jacks? Yup, this scrumptious delicacy can be filled with the above making it easier to eat when you’re on the go.
Fry jacks can also be eaten in a more traditional way, such as adding honey, jelly, jam, or powdered sugar.
You’ll have to unbutton your jeans when eating the riches of a Belizean breakfast. If it’s your first time trying fry jacks, there’s no turning back. It will become your favorite too!
Belizean Fry Jacks Recipe, courtesy the Flavor of Belize Cookbook
For our visual learners, we’ve provided the link for you to cook along with Chef Sean Kuylen.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
¾ cup water
vegetable oil for frying
Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut shortening into flour. Add water, a little at a time, to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Divide dough into two rounds. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Lightly flour countertop or cutting board. Roll dough out to about 10 to 12 inches round. Cut lengthwise into 2 to 3-inch strips and then crosswise to desired size. Heat oil and fry on each side until golden brown. Serve hot with honey, jam, sugar or refried beans and cheese.
Frying in very hot oil will ensure that fry jacks “puff” when cooking. If you prefer your fry jacks not to puff you should place slits in the dough slices before placing in hot boil.