Funchi (the yellow mound)
Paradise as defined by most travelers can be a number of things. Warm weather and mile long beaches lined up against translucent waters. Or, a variety of activities for an action filled vacation. But, what most tourists forget is how important the local food experience is. Taking a walk down local streets or supermarkets can be an experience in itself. The local cuisine is the prime example of the culinary experience abroad. Aruba is known for all of the above mentioned, in addition to traditional local dishes with an array of exotic flavors.
Pastechi: The best part about travel is finding common denominators in different places, like finding pizza in Argentine; with the influence from Italy. Aruba has a highly influenced Caribbean and Spanish cuisine, so finding their version of the empanada was easy. A pastechi is a delicious and economical snack. Very similar in style to the empanada, but with a pie like crust, the pastechi is the simplest introduction to Aruban cuisine.
Funchi: Any food that has a strange name will often appeal to travelers. Based on corn meal, this is a common dish served as an appetizer. Think of it as Aruban polenta; the corneal is poured and stirred into boiling water seasoned with butter and salt. It is left mushy and served into a mound; almost like a jello-like substance with a rich taste.
Keshi Yena: Once again, don't be fooled by the strange name; this dish is extremely delectable. This is a popular dinner choice with a strong Dutch influence. The infamous Edam cheese is the star center of this dish; baked with either meat or seafood in a brown sauce. It was famously known on the island as a poor man's dish used as a frugal dish during earlier times.
Zult: If you're truly looking for a dive into the local experience, close your eyes and have no fear, try some delicious pig ears. Marinated in local exotic spices, it is a traditional dish served not only in Aruba, but the other Antilles islands. You can also trace the dish back to its origin in The Netherlands where it is called Zure Zult; another apparent influence from its mother country.
Kesio: To end the culinary Aruban experience, one must end it in sweet temptation with a taste of Kesio, consider it the Aruban flan. This sweet dish is made from sugar, eggs, vanilla and two types of milk; a perfect delicacy served in many restaurants. Sweethearts in the romantic mood often share this delicious sweet treat in the romantic ambiance of the island spirit.