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Cuisine in St Lucia

Throughout history, St Lucia’s cuisine has been influenced by French, West Indian and Creole food, and its most popular dishes are pepper pot stew, callaloo and fried jackfish. Shellfish and fish are a daily dish, as well as vegetables like cassava, dasheen or taro, and sweet potatoes.

The volcanic and fertile soil of St 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, St Lucia’s abundant tropical fruits include papayas, coconuts, mangoes, pineapples, passion fruits, guavas and soursops. Local St Lucian chefs use a combination of fresh produce and a great variety of fresh seafood in order to prepare Creole-style entrées, curries, and pepper pot stews. The national St Lucian dish is callaloo soup, which consists of a leafy green resembling spinach.

St Lucia is known for its famous dish, banana and salt fish; breadfruit and salt fish is also popular. One famous dish, bouyon, can be cooked with fish, chicken, meat, plantains, bananas, dasheen, ground yams and dumplings. Some bouyon recipes include coconut water or coconut milk. The island's British influence is seen in the variety of spices used in its cuisine, which include garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, coco, parsley, cloves, and allspice.

Indian and British influences have also crept into the island's cuisine. Curry is popular on the island, and like Creole dishes, packs a tasty punch. Try colombo, made of curried goat, lamb, or chicken. There is also roti, a dish similar to a "wrap" and made with unleavened bread and curried vegetables or meat.

St 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 St Lucian cooking, using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for colouring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in St 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 colours and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of St Lucia's regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most St Lucian dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Rum is a favourite drink throughout the Caribbean, and St Lucia is no exception. St Lucia's own rum distillery, St Lucia Distillers, is situated in the Roseau Valley. While Bounty is the rum of choice on the island, consider trying Denros, a strong white rum, and Old Fort Reserve, a dark rum. Rum shops, called cabawes, are great places to experience the local culture. These huts often sell groceries, loose cigarettes, beer, and of course, rum – straight or on the rocks. Rum and cola is also a popular drink in St Lucia, and is part of the meal at the Anse la Rey fish fry.





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