Creole kitchen is a real fusion of different tastes. Caribbean food is very diverse and can vary from island to island. But usually, it’s created from similar local ingredients. In French Antilles, you can enjoy both Creole and French kitchen.
Caribbean food, including Creole kitchen, involved with the colonization of islands by European countries. Because of slavery and mass inflow of people from different regions of the world, eating habits mixed and created new traditions and culinary experiences.
Today in Guadeloupe and Martinique we can taste exotic fruits and spices representing Caribbean food served with a traditional French baguette and wine. Or rum, if you prefer.
Read more: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Guadeloupe.
Caribbean food – tasty list
After two months spent in the Caribbean, we had an opportunity to taste some local delicacies, not only restaurant dishes, but also everyday snacks and ingredients. Let’s take a look at some of them.
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Colombo is probably the most popular local dish in Guadeloupe and Martinique. It can be found in almost every restaurant on the islands. It is usually about a chicken (fr. poulet) or a goat (fr. cabri), but you can also find beef and fish. The meat is stewed in vegetables and a set of spices similar to Asian curry. It could be more or less spicy and usually, it’s served with white rice. You can buy already prepared
2. Accras de morue
3. Bokits & sandwiches
Different types of sandwiches are the most popular snacks and street food in Guadeloupe and Martinique. A French baguette is the most common pastry base. Ingredients are up to you. You can choose between cheese, ham, eggs, tuna, gilthead fish, vegetables or mix it.
Typical for Caribbean kitchen is a sandwich called bokit. It has a form of a flat fried bun, filled with delicious ingredients and sauce. Very tasty!
4. Sea fruits
Lots of people around the islands work daily as fishermen. The Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea are plenty of different water animals and Creoles know exactly how to change them into sea fruits. Many towns have special places near a fishing port, where fishermen can wash and process their fish and sell them to locals and tourists.
5. Local fruits, vegetables,
Most of the islands’ towns are equipped with local markets which gather people in a city center. There you can find stands sagging under the weight of fresh fruits and vegetables. Their diversity varies from season to season. Most popular fruits are bananas, pineapples, watermelons, limes, plums, and coconuts. Among vegetables, you can find avocados, yams, manioc, tomatoes, cucumbers,
On each market, you can also buy spices. Caribbean food bases on vivid tastes which appear thanks to mixing different herbs and roots. You can choose among cinnamon, ginger, thyme, curry, anise, and many others. Very popular are ready blends of different spices, such as colombo, curry coco, spices for chicken or fish, etc.
Sometimes you can even enjoy picking fruits on your own. Coconuts which we were finding on beaches gave us a lot of joy. And peeling them for hours even more.
6. Local jams
Probably my number one. In the Caribbean, you can find lots of delicious jams, made from local plants. If you’re coming from Central or North Europe you will find them truly exotic. You can find them in each grocery shop. And the tastes are really diverse: coconut, guava, tamarind, banana, pineapple, papaya, fruit de passion, etc. They were perfect for our breakfasts.
Rum is the most popular strong alcohol in the Caribbean. Plantations were making a lot of money selling sugar cane to distilleries in order to produce sweet alcohol. Many of the old distilleries opened museum last years, so you can visit the factories and discover how rum is produced. There are many brands in Guadeloupe and Martinique, but the most common are Bologne, Damoiseau, Saint James, Clément or La Favorite.
8. Cacao bar
The Caribbean climate is very appropriate for cacao trees. You can find them in many places in French Antilles. Fruit markets often sell cacao bars which are made of cacao beans. The beans are roasted and then peeled. After this, they are crushed with a mortar and pestle. This process generates some heat which allows cacao fat to appear. Thanks to this we receive a paste which Creoles roll in a stick called the cacao bar. It is 100% pure organic cacao and it’s a base for preparing delicacies such as hot chocolate or chocolate bars.
How to prepare hot Caribbean chocolate?
1. Heat some milk with lime zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon and sugar in a pot for 5 minutes.
2. Grate some cacao bar into a separate bowl and mix it with a bit of cold milk.
3. Pour cacao mixture into the main pot and simmer it for 10-15 minutes until small fat bubbles appear on the surface.
4. You can thicken it with tapioca flour if you like.
5. Voilà! You hot chocolate is ready. You can serve it with some French pastries or sweet buns.
9. Local chocolate
Caribbean chocolate has a little bit different taste from European bars. And it is thanks to cane sugar which is added instead of white sugar. Thereby the taste is a bit more spicy and unique. Personally, I really enjoyed the Elot chocolate from French Antilles.
10. Coco sorbet
While visiting touristic places in the Caribbean you can find
11. Ti’ punch
Another popular Caribbean drink which you can buy in local markets. Ti’ punch literally means a small punch. Traditional ti’ punch bases on white rum
12. Caribbean coffee
Similar to cacao, coffee trees grow in the Caribbean islands. Coffee plantations are still very active and produce coffee. Some of them open their door for tourists so you can extend your knowledge about how the coffee is made.
Chichi it’s a popular sweet snack in Caribbean streets. Their taste is similar to donuts, but the form is different – chichi are narrow and long. They are deep-fried directly in street food stands, so you can buy them while still warm. Sprinkled with sugar, they taste delicious.
14. Manioc cakes
Since manioc, or cassava, is very popular among Caribbean food, you can also find some sweets made of it. In some shops you can buy traditional flat cakes or crackers were made of manioc. Their taste is really great and a packet of manioc crackers could be a perfect snack for a trip.
15. Sugar cane juice
The essence of Caribbean food. If you’re lucky you will find a food truck with a sign jus de canne à sucre. There you can buy a fresh juice squeezed from sugar cane directly on your eyes.
The sweet taste is very specific with a kind of fatty feeling (more like milk than water). It is served with some ice cubes and lime – very refreshing.
As you can see Caribbean food is very diversified, but usually, it bases on simple local products. A mix of plenty of cultures created an interesting fusion which you can taste in Creole kitchen.
Have you tried any of those snack in the Caribbean? Which one you liked the best? Tell me in a comment!
Wanna know more about the Caribbean? Check out those articles:
- 8 things that totally surprised us in the Caribbean
- How to get around by public transport in Guadeloupe and Martinique?
- The Ultimate Caribbean packing list + printable PDF
- 20+ insanely beautiful travel photos from the Caribbean
- Guadeloupe or Martinique: how to choose the perfect island for your fabulous vacation
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Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.