St Lucia is a Caribbean jewel with awe-inspiring beaches, rainforest hikes and a fascinating colonial history. A mix of French, African and native traditions have forged a rich culture that is reflected in the food and local customs.
Saint Lucia’s cuisine is influenced by a unique mix of West Indian and East Indian influences. The island’s lush volcanic soil is perfect for growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Add in spices and herbs picked from the island’s mountains and coastal waters, and the result is a flavor-packed cuisine that is unique to the Caribbean.
Traditionally, many meals in Saint Lucia are stewed. Popular dishes include saltfish and green fig, scotch bonnet pepperpot stew and accra (spicy fish cakes). Stewed chicken backs are also very common, often served with rice, plantains or yams as a side dish. Fresh seafood is also found on many menus, including mahi mahi and snapper caught from the coast.
Europeans came to St Lucia to find slave labour for their sugar plantations. While they didn’t settle in large numbers, they have had an incalculable impact on the island’s culture. The British brought their language, educational system and legal and political structure, while the French have infused the island with their music and the local Creole patois.
The island has a very diverse population, with most of the population having some degree of African descent. This reflects in the music, dance and language of the people on the island. A trip to the capital of Castries is a great way to immerse yourself in this culture and experience a unique Caribbean vibe.
As you walk around the streets of Saint Lucia, you’ll notice a variety of colourful parades and carnival-like events. These festivals celebrate everything from religious holidays to a full-on street party. Some of the top events are the Cascade Waterfall Festival, Soufriere Volcanic Mineral Baths and Carnival of Colours.
One of the best ways to get to know St Lucia is through its food. The island’s cuisine is a mix of West Indian and East Indian influences, as well as a few European imports. It’s a vibrant mixture that is sure to please any palate.
St Lucia is famous for its rum, but that’s not all the island has to offer when it comes to drink. Throughout the islands there are bars and restaurants that serve locally brewed beer and other alcoholic beverages. They’re a great place to meet the locals and sample some of the best local drinks.
St Lucia isn’t really known for haute cuisine, but chefs like Craig Jones at Cap Maison are trying to change that. He’s bringing his Michelin-starred experience to the island and using high-end techniques and ingredients to create unique dishes. The best part is that the food is just as delicious as it is visually appealing. He serves his creations on a plate that features the iconic Piton Mountains and the colours of the flag of Saint Lucia.