The Origins of Saint Lucian Foods

Saint lucian fruitsThe volcanic and fertile soil of Saint Lucia provides great conditions and it yields an enormous supply of produce. The island is also one of the main banana exporters in the Caribbean. Except bananas, Saint Lucia’s abundant tropical fruits include papayas, coconuts, mangoes, pineapples, passion fruits, guavas, and soursops. Local Saint Lucian chefs use a combination of fresh produce and a great variety of fresh seafood in order to prepare Creole-style entrees, curries, and pepperpot stews.

Saint Lucian green bananas

The national Saint Lucian dish is green fig (green banana) and salt fish. Another very popular dish is Cocoa tea which is made from cocoa beans that have been grounded and formed into sticks. The tea can be flavour with any number of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and bayleaf. It is usually served with a roasted bake or float which is similar to a jonny cake or fried bread. Being a rich cultural heritage, Saint Lucia’s cuisine is given a great importance.

Saint Lucian cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbours and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Saint Lucian cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Saint Lucian cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish.

The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Saint Lucia is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Saint Lucia's regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Saint Lucian dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

The Saint Lucian year is marked by several festive events like Carnival and Calypso celebrations, or street parties. One of the most important events is Saint Lucia Jazz Festival that takes place every year, between the May 8th-11th. These are great occasions to have Piton which is beer, and Bounty Rum all manufactured locally. Food is meant to bring people together, but it also means sharing.

Fruits seem to be the most delicious and healthy food in Ssint Lucia, as well as fresh vegetables. One should never forget about Saint Lucia’s national dish, green banana (also known as green fig to the locals) and saltfish.

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