What: Guava, a fruit indigenous to the Bahamas, takes center stage in this traditional dessert. Diced-up guava is folded into dough—that’s the “duff” part—and then boiled or steamed, much in the same vein as the puddings of the islands’ British colonizers, a likely influence. Before eating, the sweet dough is doused with a rum- or brandy-spiked buttercream, and the whole mess is served warm. It’s as Bahamian a dessert as you’ll find.
Where: Any restaurant serving Bahamian food will have this on the dessert menu, or you can save a buck or two and pick one up at a bakery, like we did. Surprisingly, the Nassau area has a nice little bakery scene, largely due to the handful of European pastry chefs who have landed in resort kitchens over the years. At this one, Cable Beach’s Swiss Pastry Shop (327-7601; West Bay St., map) we found guava duff to go.
When: Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm
Order: The guava duff ($5.38) is ready for takeout, with the instructions to heat before eating. Granted, it’s not as pretty as you might find in a nice restaurant, especially after 40 seconds in the microwave, all melty and creamy. But it was very tasty, sweet and buttery. The ruby-red guava pieces were almost like jelly, adding both color and sweetness to the thick, rich cream. Wanna try more? Grab a traditional johnny cake, a guava bar, or a slice of coconut custard.
Alternatively: You can try the Original Swiss Sweet Shop (locations in Cable Beach, 327-5836, map; and downtown Nassau), too—don’t miss the delicious conch patties—or find a restaurant with Bahamian food, like Bahamian Cookin’ (Trinity St., map) in downtown Nassau, or Bahamas Cricket Club (West Bay St., map), near Arawak Cay. Many of the eateries you’ll encounter at the famed “Fish Fry,” like Oh Andros (Arawak Cay, map), will offer this for dessert as well.