If you’re a fan of meat, you’ll enjoy pepperpot. It is the culinary pride of Guyana. This delicious stew is sweet and savory, which is a real treat for the taste buds.

The chief ingredients are braised beef, cloves, cinnamon, thyme and wiri wiri pepper. Wiri Wiri, a berry-shaped pepper, has heat comparable to habanero or scotch bonnet. Cassareep gives pepperpot a dark color. Some say this thick, brown syrup tastes like a hybrid of molasses and barbecue sauce.

Here’s a brief introduction to this popular, Guyanese dish.

The Origins of the Dish

Indigenous people created this meal. According to the Guyana Chronicle, “the tribes separately discovered the amazing preservative properties of liquid extracts from the poisonous bitter cassava root. The Arawaks discovered the liquid now called cassareep.”

When the Guyanese prepare and eat pepperpot, it’s a way for them to connect with the ancestors and with each other.

When do The Guyanese Eat Pepperpot?

Typically, Guyanese people eat pepperpot on or around Christmas. It’s not uncommon to wait about 2 to 3 days before diving in. This gives the seasoning extra time to seep into the stew.

The people of Antigua and Barbuda also enjoy pepperpot as part of their national dish. The difference is they pair it with fungee, which is similar to cornmeal.