Travel For Your Tastebuds: Experience Aruba

Everyone is ready to start traveling again and BELLA has some exciting news! A truly magical destination filled with culinary hidden gems and surprising geographical landscapes, Aruba is a destination fit for thrill-seekers, professional sunbathers, and adventurous foodies. With warm weather and turquoise waters, Aruba is the ideal travel hot spot for a dream Caribbean vacation – and Aruba is officially opening up for tourism between June 15-July 1, 2020!

Make the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino your home away from home. With an idyllic beach-chic ambiance, this resort boasts-endless amenities, activities, and dining options galore.

Because there’s an endless array of delicious dining and cultural experiences, here are a few of my top recommendations to make your Aruba trip a memorable one…

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EXPERIENCE PALATABLE PLEASURES LIKE A LOCAL

The Aruba Marriott instantly immerses guests into the culture and overall vibe of the Aruban lifestyle. I wanted to experience the many flavors of Aruba like the locals do, and the best way to do so was to learn from the locals themselves.

The sophisticated style of the Great Room Lobby Bar catches your eye upon entering and its intricate menu of bespoke blends will keep your attention. I had the pleasure of getting a hands-on lesson in Mixology 101 with the incredibly talented staff at Aruba Marriott. Of the cocktails I shook and stirred, the Hibiscus Margarita was as delicious as it was pretty.

Photo: Connie Aboubakare
HIBISCUS MARGARITA
  • 1 oz Patrón Silver
  • 1 oz Patrón Citrónge
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz hibiscus syrup
  • 1 candied hibiscus flower
Rim a wine glass with hibiscus salt. In a shaker, add and shake all ingredients together (minus the candied hibiscus flower) with ice. Add new ice to the rimmed wine glass, and strain mixture from shaker into the glass. Decorate with candied hibiscus flower.

Next, move into La Vista, an open-air terrace with ocean views, featuring local dishes and international favorites. Here, you can book your very own cooking class with the incredibly talented Chef Ever. During my class, Chef Ever taught us how to create a local dish called Pastechi, similar to an empanada and loaded with flavor. Pastechi can be customized to your liking, with ingredients ranging from ham and cheese to a vegetable medley. These delicious, golden brown pockets are easy enough to whip up in your very own kitchen and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

INDULGE IN THE CARIBBEAN SAND AND SEAS

If you’re looking to indulge your senses both culinarily and visually in Aruba, the stunning Atardi is a must-do. A nightly pop-up on the beach, Atardi is illuminated by cotton candy skies and citrus sunsets, making the setting just as appealing as the food. Serving up succulent seafood and a romantic ambiance, Atardi is a refined yet relaxing fine dining experience with the most dazzling views. If you’re looking for a fresh, flavorful dish that won’t disappoint, try the Macadamia Crusted Grouper or the Sea Bass in Champagne Sauce–both incredible!

Photo: Jennifer DeCillis

When your palette is satiated and you’re ready to escape to the shimmering seas, set sail upon the crystal clear, cerulean blue waters of Aruba. Thanks to Red Sail Sports, you can experience the most the Caribbean seas have to offer with catamaran cruises complete with snorkeling and diving. Their luxury fleet of catamarans will whisk you away to some of the most coveted snorkel spots, where you can peruse a shipwreck and swim with Aruban marine life. Red Sail offers both sunset and dinner cruises, with full buffet and open bar, for an unforgettable excursion through the Caribbean.

RETURN TO THE LAND FOR TRUE FARM-TO-TABLE

Photo: Jennifer DeCillis

For a truly unique glimpse into the island’s culture, I recommend venturing off-resort and exploring the famous Goshen Farms for a day. I was surprised to learn that Aruba boasts much more than pristine beaches and tropical landscapes; it also fosters vast deserts and fruitful farmland.

Goshen Farms began as a way to connect people to local foods and the Aruban cultural heritage. Teaching the value of the land and the sustainability of fresh produce, Goshen offers a true “farm-to-table” cooking experience for its visitors.

Set alongside a beautiful, country estate, Goshen’s tour and cooking class teaches classic Aruban dishes made in their authentic stone-brick oven, where you’ll enjoy their famous, green “Goshen Smoothie” upon arrival. Here, our tour guide and resident chef taught us how to whip up Keshi Yena, a traditional dish of fresh farm vegetables and the authentic char of the stone-brick oven. The hospitality at Goshen was unmatched, and our day was completed enjoying our chefs-d’oeuvre farm side, overlooking another spectacular Aruban sunset.

Photo: Chris Militzer
KESHI YENA
  • Eggplant
  • Seasoning (poultry,salt + pepper)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Olives
  • Raisins
  • Orange juice
  • Sage
  • And, of course–as much gouda cheese as your heart desires!
Keshi Yena can be prepared in many different ways and with different ingredients—there are even meatless options. We opted for a vegetarian version, where the filling is cooked up and poured into a small baking dish, lined with thinly sliced eggplant. The mixture is then topped with cheese and fired in the oven. For more recipes like this, and for your very own “back to the land” experience, contact Goshen Farms.

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