Privateers and buccaneers would keep some livestock on board to give them fresh eggs and meat. For the most part, however, diets on long sea voyages would consist of dried beans, pulses, salted meats and vegetables and sea biscuits.
Not sound arrgh-stounding for a party?
1.2 Use a Little Imagination and Presentation to Turn Normal Food into Pirate Food
From left: treasure map cheesecake in the shape of a desert island; treasure chest chocolate loaf.
Our two featured pirate-themed puddings:
Turn a cake or cheesecake into a treasure map of a desert island. Create an island shape in the middle using yellow-colored icing or whipped cream. Then use blue icing (or whipped cream colored with blue food coloring) around the edges of this island shape to represent the sea around the desert island. Then, within the island part of the cake, use chocolate drops, blueberries or small grapes to form a "path", use green colored icing strips to create trees and use red icing strips (or pieces of raspberry or cherry) to create the "X marks the spot" of buried treasure. You could also buy Hawaiian Tiki Paper Honeycomb Trees on food picks (supplied by Ginger Ray Store on Amazon) to give the illusion of trees and to add some height to your cake. See hosting a pirate mystery for further details of how we decorated our cheesecake.
Turn a cake into a treasure chest by baking it in a loaf tin, cutting the top off and hollowing out the middle to contain an edible mix of your choice. (For chocolate lovers, you could fill with chocolate coins, chocolate sea shells, edible pearls, and puff pastry coins. For nonchocolate lovers, fill with your choice of fresh berries, a whipped cream and berry mix, or with rum-soaked mangoes, pineapples or apples. ) Then decorate with chocolate buttercream or with whipped cream colored with brown food coloring. For adults, you may also like whipped cream or buttercream colored and flavored with coffee and Tia Maria. Use coloured icing sheets for the chest hinges, crushed digestive biscuits for the sand and your choice of edible shells, edible pearls and fish-shaped sweets. See our hosting a pirate murder mystery game post for further details.
A few other ideas:
Create a boat out of a large, oval-shaped melon (for example a Crenshaw Melon): cut off the top and cut the top piece into three smaller pieces. Scoop out the melon and fill with fresh fruit salad (optionally soaked in rum). Insert a sharp wooden food skewer through each of the top melon thirds and insert the bottom of this skewer into the melon base so that the effect resembles a boat with sails. Optionally decorate with the feared skull and crossbones flag.
Wrap bread rolls or sausage rolls in a treasure map. (Sample ones come with the game pack.)
Turn a pizza into a treasure map: add sliced olives, sliced mini tomatoes or capers to create a "path", use sliced green peppers to create trees (once the pizza is cooked, parsley can also be added to form an effective tree canopy), and use red pepper slices for an "X marks the spot". If making the pizza base from scratch, then shape the dough into an interesting "island" shape or cut a pre-bought pizza base into an island shape using a sharp knife.
Serve soup, curry or fruit mouse inhalf a coconut shell.
Add mini skull and crossbones flags to your choice of party food - sausage rolls, sandwiches, cupcakes.
Make a cake in the form of a pirate ship using three oblong layers of cake: sandwich two layers together with buttercream and cut from the top at a slight angle to make a boat shape. Then use the other layer of cake to form the bow and stern of the boat. Cover with chocolate buttercream. Decorate with your choice of colored icing, wafer-rolled biscuits, chocolate drops etc and top with bamboo skewers sporting skull and crossbone "flags".
1.2 Or Add Labels to Turn Normal Food Into Food for your Bucanner Hearties
Use the editable treasure map or pirate-themed labels provided with the game's extensive decoration kit or use cocktail sticks with your own choice of label.
Pirate fruit and nut cake = nutloaf with dried tropical fruit and a pirate-themed label.
A few ideas:
Corsairs' cannon-balls = dishes of oval or round foods such as Maltesers, black grapes or black olives
Skeleton bones = cheese straws or yogurt-covered pretzels
Buccaneer Booty = cakes or chocolates in an ingot shape and then made to look like gold ingots by wrapping in an edible gold leaf, covering with metallic gold edible sugar paste or simply sprinkling with edible gold dust glitter
Pieces of Eight = gold chocolate coins
Marauder's Mess = jelly or mousse with ice cream with some fresh tropical fruit
Shark Bait = jelly worms
Plunder of the Seas = platter of fish
2 A Few Selected Caribbean Ideas that You Can Make-ahead
The murder mystery is set in a fictional port in the Caribbean. So treat your guests to the flavors of exotic spices (think allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise, garlic and cayenne pepper), West Indian fruits (coconut, papaya, mango, banana. soursop and guava) and vegetables (okra, callaloo, cassava as well as more commonly available vegetables such as sweet potatoes, mini sweetcorns, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and peppers). Then don't forget brown sugar (or molasses) and, of course, rum.
These dishes have been selected to be largely make-ahead so that you as the host can enjoy the party with your guests.
2.1 Caribbean Starters
Shrimp served with a coconut and pineapple sauce.
Sweet potato, coconut milk and chili soup served with cornbread. The soup can be made the night before and then reheated in the oven at the start of the party. The cornbread can be made, bought or made from a packet. (We used Betty Crocker's Cornbread and Muffin Mix.)
Trinidad corn soup.
Jamaican jerk spiced nuts.
Caribbean sweet potato soup with coconut milk and chili; slice of cornbread.
2.2 West Indian Mains
Jamaican jerk chicken, chicken wings, pork or salmon - in the summer, serve with a mango salsa, Caribbean coleslaw, Caribbean potato salad, coco bread or Hawaiian sweet rolls; in the winter, serve with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
Jamaican brown fish stew.
Jerk salmon, Caribbean salsa, roast potatoes and Caribbean coleslaw.
2.3 Sides or Buffet Items
Pikliz - pickled vegetable relish from Haiti
Caribbean mixed bean salad - with lime and coriander dressing
Caribbean coleslaw (slaw with mango, nuts, jalapenos and hot sauce)
Leafy salad topped with pineapple, mango and a honey and lime dressing
Caribbean salsa - with mango, pineapple, papaya, red pepper, red onion, cumin, chili and coriander; serve in a half-pineapple for an extra tropical touch
Pirate salsa = mango salsa served in half a pineapple and garnished with chopped coriander. Very refreshing.
2.4 Caribbean-themed Desserts
Antiguan raisin bun with cheese
Jamaican Rum Cake
Coconut and rum cheesecake - optionally served with a rum caramel sauce
Tropical coconut pie
Mango, coconut or rum and raisin ice cream
Bahama Mamas - pineapple lime and orange juice with rum and a dash of grenadine
Brand drinks such as Malibu or Bali
Watermelon mint lemonade
Passion fruit mocktail
If you have the time, serve a freshly squeezed selection of your favorite tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, passion fruit, guava, papaya etc) with a slice of melon or pineapple to decorate the glass. Alternatively, Innocent make a lovely Tropical Juice.
Finish off your party with Café Caribbean - coffee with rum and amaretto and topped with whipped cream. Optionally sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg or chocolate powder.
To fit with the piracy theme, why not give each guest a treasure bag with chocolate coins or other chocolates of your choice? (We used mini party favor burlap bags from Amazon, filled them with tissue paper and added a single gold-covered chocolate coin on the top; we did not include lots of chocolates as guests had already had a three-course meal.)
Napkin folded into a boat shape and topped with a mini skull and crossbone flag; hessian loot bag with a gold-covered chocolate coin.
3 Our Pirate and Caribbean Themed Party Menu
For our pirate murder mystery game launch party, we offered guests a choice:
Starters = Caribbean sweet potato and coconut milk soup or pate served with a mango and ginger chutney and salad; both were served with cornbread.
Mains = jerk chicken or salmon, roast potatoes, Caribbean spicy coleslaw, mango salsa. (For guests who didn't like spicy food, we offered roast chicken or salmon with baby sweetcorn and peas.)
Dessert = treasure island tropical cheesecake or treasure chest chocolate cake.