Located on the eastern edge of the Caribbean, St Lucia is part of the British Commonwealth and enjoys a relatively high standard of living and stable politics. The island is primarily a tourism destination, although banana exports are also important. St Lucians tend to be quite liberal in their approach to religion, with a mix of African, French and English influences. Some of the most popular historic attractions include Pigeon Island National Park and Soufriere Estate, where you can see the Diamond Mineral Baths, a restored mansion and botanical gardens.
As with most of the Caribbean, St Lucia’s history is rich in cultural influences. The indigenous Amerindian peoples formed the initial population, but European colonisation saw the numbers decline. Slaves and indentured servants would later make up the majority of the population, and their culture has made a tremendous impact on Saint Lucia’s character as a country. The official language is English, but the local patois dialect is equally prevalent.
Food culture is a significant element of St Lucian culture. The country’s cuisine has an abundance of French and Creole flavours, with influences from the West Indies too. The national dish of St Lucia is green fig and saltfish, and this is a must-try for any visitor to the island. Other traditional favorites include callaloo soup, prepared with leafy greens indigenous to the Caribbean, and a wide range of stews.
The influence of the British is also apparent in many dishes. The seafood of St Lucia is particularly good and visitors can get a true taste of the local food scene at the Dennery Seafood Fiesta, held every Saturday on a beach at the fishing village of Dennery. Dozens of tents line the beach, where you can sample a range of fish, conch, crab, lobster and other fresh seafood. A number of different types of music are played at the event, including soca, zouk and reggae.
For those seeking a more high-end food experience, St Lucia has some excellent restaurants. Chef Craig Jones at Cap Maison, for example, trained in Michelin-starred kitchens in the UK and now creates high-end dishes that combine local ingredients with contemporary techniques and some seriously beautiful presentation skills.
While St Lucia is not renowned for haute cuisine, this restaurant is doing its best to change that perception. The restaurant has a focus on sustainability, and is committed to the use of locally sourced ingredients and produce. It’s an ideal spot to try some of the best foods of St Lucia while supporting the local economy and preserving the environment. To help its guests, it offers an exclusive menu that changes regularly to reflect the seasonality of ingredients on the island.