One of the most rewarding aspects of travelling is to sample the local food. Lucians LOVE their food so let TT fill you in on what satisfies our bellies.
Some sources have referred to Saint Lucians as consuming the most amount of chicken per capita in the world. Nobody here would disagree! Our chicken is heavily seasoned which makes it extra delicious. Chicken legs and wings are popular but there is no part of a chicken that some Lucians won’t eat – one ‘delicacy’ here is chicken necks! And how about chicken feet? And chicken backs (backbone)?
The name is misleading but bakes are utterly delicious. They are rounds of dough that are fried or roasted and served hot, preferably with a knob of butter and a sprinkling of parsley.
Green Fig Salad
In the Caribbean, a fig is unripe banana. It has to be cooked first but is great when left to cool and used in a salad – like a potato salad.
Saltfish is often served in a bake or boiled green fig. It is fish that has been dried and salted – a method used for centuries to preserve fish so that it can be kept for longer, especially in our temperatures – and is then rehydrated and cooked. When we prepare saltfish we add peppers to give it a bit of kick.
You will recognise this as the French word for broth, a dish made around the world. Here in Saint Lucia the bouillon is thick and filling due to lots of mini dumplings and a heavy does of lentils or red beans. The local favourite is pig-tail bouillon.
When a Lucian fancies a change from chicken, he opts for pork. On festive occasions, some families will roast an entire pig; the cooking process involves onlookers (usually with beer in hand) commenting on the pig, the fire, politics, life . . . It’s what we do here.
These tasty morsels are fish cakes made from the saltfish. Battered rather than breaded, they are bite-sized bits of pleasure.
Even in these beautiful Caribbean waters, our fishermen now have to sail further out from the shores than before to net a good catch. This makes fish a slightly more expensive option but we all appreciate the taste and variety. Local fish include dorado (also known as mahi-mahi or dolphin), marlin and tuna. Fun ways to eat fish in a local setting are at the Friday Night Gros Islet Street Party, the Anse La Raye Fish Fry and the Saturday night Dennery Fish Fiesta.
Originally from Trinidad, this ‘wrap’ has become popular all over the Caribbean. It’s like a mild curry in a rolled up flat, baked dough. Popular fillings are chicken, fish, pork, beef and vegetarian.
STREET VENDORS AND CARTS
When out and about you won’t need to go far before you come across a street vendor. In fact, some may approach you on the beach with their treats cooked that day. In the Rodney Bay area there is a roadside site, near the marina, opposite Harbor Club, where static stalls are open every evening offering a great choice of local foods, all very reasonably priced. Go down, eat your heart out and have a great local-style night out!