West Indies (Caribbean)
Talk about Serendipity! Columbus went looking for an easier route to "the Indies", and bumped right into a whole new world - one lush palm-fringed paradise after another. Once the word was out, adventurers from all over Europe followed, and the islands passed from hand to hand, each one adding a little bit of seasoning to the pot. Add to that the African flavors contributed by the slaves brought in to support the production of sugar and rum, and you have a complex and spicy brew: each island a little bit different, but all laid back, simply sublime, and a whole lot of fun.