The word creole, taken in its meaning of "mixture," fits most Caribbean cooking. Pre-Columbian Arawak and Taino people subsisted on the fruits of the sea and starchy cassava root. Imperial designs, slavery and merchant immigration brought succeeding influence from the British, Spanish, French, Dutch, African, Indian and Chinese.
Each island has signature dishes reflecting its particular history. Seafood is widely eaten, as is chicken and goat. Okra, greens, taro and yams are popular, as well as plantains, limes, sour oranges and other tropical fruits.