St Lucia Food Report Part 1: Local Is Best
It was my first time in St Lucia after hearing great stories from dozens of people, I was not disappointed!
It’s a beautiful island famed for the Pitons (above), fantastic people with a rich cultural history and superb food.
Whilst on the island my mission was to sample the best local food I could find. I wanted to gain a true sense of the island and it’s cultural roots from visiting local eateries, chatting to chefs, eating fresh fruit and veg from wherever I could find it!
We ventured off the beaten track to find some amazing local places throughout the island. There are some common traits within the cuisine compared with other islands but there are many differences in cooking techniques and recipes which were interesting to see.
Fruit & Veg
As with many Caribbean islands ‘ground provisions’ such as cassava and sweet potato are a key part of the local diet. In January we spotted bananas, green bananas (or green fig as it’s sometimes called), pigeon peas, sweet potato to name a few. These were sold at the main markets or on the side of the road by local farmers. Breadfruit, mangoes and tamarind were not quite ready at the time I was there this month but the trees were still laden with there fruits.
We visited many bakeries on the island and each one was thriving serving the local community and business in their areas. Each bakery had selection of white and brown loaves, buns, rotis, pastries and cakes with a variety of flavourings. I noted that many of the pastries we sampled were not overly sweet compared with many from the Europe and the US. They seem to let the fillings and toppings do the talking in regards to flavour which was refreshing to see and the prices were very affordable.
Fried Bakes or oven bakes (bread) were all over the island (the fried bakes are my favourite!) These are eating on their own as a snack or usually with salt fish in many combinations. We came across a St Lucian favourite called ‘Dhal’ which is traditionally split peas or chick peas and salt fish stuffed into a pasty type bread and deep fried. It’s not exactly fat free, but it’s delicious! Needless to say I probably ate far too many of these. They are eaten for breakfast or for lunch – it’s a great streetfood favourite.
Cadasse Bakery – Castries – In the heart of the city centre, very popular with the locals and always sell out
Morne Bakery – Morne – Lovely selection of local breads and pastries made on the premises and great prices!
Everyones Bakery – Gros Ilet – This small local bakery has been going for over 25 years run by 2 people. They make bread for local businesses and their regular customers.
Plas Kassav Bakery – Canaries – This place is a little gem. They have been going for many years producing Cassava bread, farine and cassava flour. They produce a variety of different flavours of cassava breads including; Salt Fish, Cinnamon, Apple & Raisin, Ginger, Smoked Herring and Banana. it’s a great snack, moist and very filling. I’ve only ever seen a plain cassava bread, so it was great to see their variety and creativity.
I tried to find some of the best local places to eat and drink during my stay in St Lucia. Many of these places were frequented by the locals for breakfast lunch or dinner (so that was a good sign!)
Prudees – Gros Ilet – Prudees is a very popular mini restaurant/streetfood eaterie located by the cross roads in Gros Ilet. She’s open from 7am until around 2pm Monday to Friday serving locals for breakfast and lunch. She has a selection of homemade roti’s filled with saltfish, beef, lamb or vegetables, salt fish and bakes, cocoa tea, BBQ meats and much more. She buys her bread from bakeries in the area and she always sells out – so get there early to get the roti!
Debra’s Restaurant & Bar – Castries – Debra’s is an authentic straight-talking, home food restaurant frequented by locals for lunch. It was like taking a step back in time walking into this place! The atmosphere was unpretentious, very laid back and straightforward. The portions were huge, cooked really well in a very traditional way. All dishes were authentic and reminded me of food cooked by aunts and grandmothers when I was young. I walked out of here feeling satisfied, full and in need of sleep (in a good way!) Proper home food!
Flavours Of The Grill – Castries – Lovely little restaurant for lunch and dinner in the heart of Gros Ilet town. Very popular with locals and some tourists (especially at the Fish Friday street party). Great prices and lovely flavours. Perfect for lunch!
Chateau Mygo, House of Seafood – Marigot Bay – Marigot Bay is located just outside Castries. It’s a tourist hotspot but not too overcrowded. There’s a water taxi to take you local beaches and a small variety of excursions, shops and eateries are available. Chateau Mygo is a lovely bar and restaurant with an amazing sea level view! The food was freshly cooked and tasted great, just right for an impromptu lunch on a sunny day.
Check back next week for Part 2 of the best St Lucian food!
If you’d like a taste of St Lucia, come along to our St Lucia Supper Club event on Saturday 23rd May 2015. Tickets cost £31.50 inc booking fee, Erdington, Birmingham Area, only 16 tickets available. Click here for more info or check out the menu below and click image to book.