Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nasha Smith
Taste The Caribbean: Local Foods To Try In St. Lucia
Let’s be honest. The best part of any trip has to be the food. Trying local cuisine is integral to understanding the culture of the people: how the ingredients are grown, the significance to the country, and why it’s prepared in that particular way.
The Caribbean is a region renowned for incredibly flavorful food and fresh produce. St. Lucia is one island in the West Indies that will make you want to come back for more.
From the national dish to a simple bread like snack, here are some of the mouthwatering must-haves on your next visit to the Helen of the West.
The ingredients are pretty simple: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and a bit of water. But the results are amazing. Served fried or roasted, bakes are an alternative to bread and a St. Lucian staple. It holds up as a standalone snack but paired with saltfish, cheese, or any meat to be honest, and it takes it up several notches.
The fried savory snack is made from a batter filled with saltfish, peppers, flour, and various spices. Also, awesome accompanied by bakes.
No meal is complete without some variation of these large, starchy bananas. St. Lucians tend to prefer their plantains fried or boiled, as is or sometimes dusted with a few sprinkles of sugar and cinnamon. One thing is certain: you can never have just one.
Saltfish appears to be a running theme here, and for good reason. Saltfish (codfish) and green figs are the national dish of St. Lucia. The green figs are boiled and topped with shredded saltfish that has been sautéed in onions, garlic, oil, peppers, and other vegetables and spices. Complete the dish with a pickled cucumber salad or other fresh greens.
One thing about a St. Lucian, they love their stewed meats. Chicken, beef, lamb and beyond. A good stew can never be underestimated. The secret to the flavorful dish is the browning. Brown sugar is typically burnt to give that gorgeous color to the meat and create a base for the sauce.
St. Lucian bouyon or bouillon is a heartier version of a soup. The consistency is thicker thanks to the meats, veggies, seasonings, and various ground provisions boiled in a one pot. It’s almost sacrilege in St. Lucian cuisine to serve a bouyon without a healthy heaping of dumplings.