St Lucia’s Caribbean food is known as Creole, a blend of African, European, Indian and native Amerindian cuisine. Recent years have seen a revival of the old ‘grandmother’s recipes’ as top chefs rediscover the unique flavours of St Lucia’s traditional dishes.
Food festivals are a treat for everyone, spices, seafood and more, with Piton beer or Caribbean rum. One may eat in a luxury hotel or a local shack but no St Lucia holiday is complete without sampling the local food and drink.
Food Festivals in St Lucia, Best Caribbean Food and Drink
Food festivals take place every week in St Lucia’s traditional fishing villages. Dennery on the east coast holds a Fish Festival on Saturday or Sunday, Anse la Raye on the west coast a family-friendly Seafood Friday. Locals and visitors can share the catch of the day or opt for lobster, shrimp, octopus, crab or squid, and feast under the stars to the beat of a Caribbean band.
In Rodney Bay, Gros Islet sets the scene for the Friday ‘Jump Up’, a lively street party when seafood, chicken and pork sizzle on the barbecues. There’s plenty of dancing and rum until the early hours, though during Lent celebrations are more restrained. St Lucia also claims an International Food Fair, showcasing local products as well as other cuisines, with top chefs demonstrating their skills.
Enjoy Traditional Dishes and Caribbean Spice on St Lucia Holidays
St Lucia’s traditional dish is salt fish with green fig, which means green banana. Pumpkin and callalloo soups are popular with plenty of cassava bread, the St Lucian staple. Favourite stew is the pepperpot, meat, vegetable and fiery peppers simmered in cassava juice.
Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, garlic and ginger flavour many dishes but most tasty is Creole sauce, a blend of pepper, celery and onion with a tomato base and seasoning. Rice, yam, okra, sweet potato and pigeon peas are sold in Castries’ market, sweet corn and roti are cooked on the streets and for dessert, there are coconut sugar cakes, tamarind balls and juicy fruit, from papaya or mango to guava and passion fruit.
Caribbean Island Rum
St Lucia’s rum is made from imported molasses and produced year round, ageing for long periods in Bourbon or Cognac barrels. Upmarket products include Premium Aged Rum and the legendary St Lucian Admiral Rodney Extra Old, said to compete with the finest Cognac and Malt Whisky. St Lucia also produces some excellent dark chocolate, which is considered the perfect accompaniment.
Caribbean rum from the island holds pride of place in every food festival. It can be sampled in a variety of ways, straight or on the rocks, blended with fruit juice, in rum based liqueurs such as Orange Bliss or Koko-Nut rum, or punches, sweet or spiced.