A culinary journey to St. Lucia
It began with the Amerindians who were drawn to Gros Piton and Petit Piton for their mystical protection, followed by generations of Africans who brought a variety of enchanting flavors. The French and British followed with customs and traditions that manifested themselves in the essence of Saint Lucian cuisine. And that is how today’s Saint Lucia tastes.
Saint Lucia's food is an incredible mix of cuisines, textures, styles such as bakes and accra from a roadside stand to a perfectly plated five course Mahi Mahi dinner. It’s a freshly cut coconut after a long days hike to the Friday night Fish fry in Gros Islet or Anse La Raye. It’s a wonderful array of the freshest island produce and seafood exemplifying the true essence of farm to table.
Banana is the king of the island with 6 varieties. It plays a leading role in the kitchen. Don't be surprise if Saltfish & Green Figs is the national dish of Saint Lucia, harking back to the nautical past when salted cod was a staple on long voyages. Stewed with seasoning peppers and onions, the saltfish is served with boiled, unripe bananas and enjoyed day in and day out across the island
Callaloo soup is another national dish.
The creole heritage and French-English history of Saint Lucia gives the island's traditional cuisine a flavor that's unique and delicious. Throughout the year, festivals and holy days are celebrated with dishes that are de rigueur for every self-respecting local, like Good Friday when smoked herring is the breakfast of the day, Jounen Kweyol when roast breadfruit is enjoyed from a calabash bowl and Christmas when spicy sorrel is brewed from red blossoms to drink all day long.
Hot Bakes and Cocoa Tea is a favourite island breakfast, pairing a cup of delicious local cocoa, spices and milk savoury with hot, deep-fried bread like a savoury doughnut. Nothing can compare with an early start Lucian-style!
Lambi is the Patois name for conch, which is caught by local fishermen, extracted from its impressive shell and served up in restaurants across Saint Lucia, whether it's in a Creole-spiced stew at a street stand or a fine-dining creation at a top restaurant.
Want to keep it really authentic?
While bouillon may be a stock cube in some cuisines, in Saint Lucia it's a hearty, rustic stew containing pig tail or some other exotic cut of meat, simmered in one pot with ground provisions, seasonings and hand-rolled dumplings.
Lionfish is new to Saint Lucia's tables, but cooks and chefs around the island are creating new recipes and special dishes to encourage the fishing of this highly invasive, destructive species. Once the dramatic spines are gone, lionfish is a tender, white and delicious fish which is becoming an eco-friendly trend in the island.
Throughout the year, festivals and holy days are celebrated with dishes that are de rigueur for every self-respecting local, like Good Friday when smoked herring is the breakfast of the day, Jounen Kweyol when roast breadfruit is enjoyed from a calabash bowl and Christmas when spicy sorrel is brewed from red blossoms to drink all day long.
What to drink? Fruit juices, local light beer called Pitons and Bounty rum.
Barbecued pork or chicken from a street vendor in Gros Islet; catch of the day served with rice and peas at a backyard restaurant in Soufriere; spicy black pudding from a roadside stall near Dennery; a healthy wrap from a food truck at Rodney Bay. Wherever you eat like a local in Saint Lucia, you're bound to find an interesting culinary adventure.
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