Guyanese cuisine has many similarities to that of the rest of the Caribbean. The food is diverse and includes dishes such as curry, roti and 'cook-up rice' (a one-pot meal of rice with beans or peas; sometimes a combination of both accompanied by chicken, salted beef tripe, or fish). The food reflects the ethnic make-up of the country and its colonial history, and includes African and creole, East Indian, Amerindian, Chinese and European (mostly British and Portuguese) dishes.
Dishes have been adapted to Guyanese tastes, often by the addition of spices. Unique dishes include pepperpot, a stew of Amerindian origin made with cassareep (a bitter extract of the cassava), hot pepper and seasoning. Other favourites are cassava bread, stews, and metemgie, a thick rich soup with a ground provision coconut base and fluffy dumplings, eaten with fried fish or chicken. Home-made bread-making, an art in many villages, is a reflection of the British influence that includes pastries such as cheese roll, pine (pineapple) tart, and patties (sister to the Jamaican beef patty).
Caribbean and Latin American ground provisions are part of the staple diet and include cassava, sweet potato, edoes and others. Fresh fish and seafood are an integral part of the food of the rural areas and small villages along the coast. Crab soups and soups with okra from the Berbice coastal region resemble the Louisiana creole soups like gumbo. Chinese food, sold in restaurants in the bigger towns, includes Caribbean-style chow mein and 'chicken in the ruff' (fried rice with Chinese-style fried chicken). A popular dessert is known as salara, also known as red cake.
There is an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood on the coast. Most people use fresh fruit to make their own beverages. Popular home-made drinks are mauby, made from the bark of a tree; sorrel drink, made from a leafy vegetable used in salads; and ginger beer (made from ginger root) and peanut punch.