October is Creole Heritage month and St Lucia like many other Caribbean islands is celebrating its unique blend of West Indian, African and French culture.
There’s live music this week at Samaas Park over the weekend. On the last weekend of October Jounen Kweyol, celebrates creole food, music and folklore.
For all you foodies out there are many local dishes which make St Lucia special.
Cassava Bread: Made from a long, starchy root vegetable that is a historically prominent fixture in the diets of the Amerindian ancestors of Saint Lucia, this unleavened bread is be eaten throughout the day. Locals mix in coconut, cherries, raisin, and apple for a sweeter taste, or serve it sandwich-style with saltfish. Visitors can find the traditional staple at the main bakery “La Plas Casav/Kassav” outside of the town of Canaries or at various vendors throughout the island. The best we have tested is along the road between Castries and Soufriere when you can actually see it being made.
Green Bananas and Salt Fish: the “official” dish of Saint Lucia, this specialty can be found in just about every restaurant island-wide. The dish combines bananas, a leading island export, and locally sourced vegetables with salt cod fish to make this Caribbean delight. Try it at different restaurants as each cook adds a signature twist. If you stay at Akasha – St Lucia’s best villa rental, then Juliette will cook her variety. Its brilliant.
Banana Ketchup: This popular condiment is a rich, thick take on traditional ketchup made from local bananas and a blend of select spices. As Saint Lucian bananas are some of the sweetest in the world, it has a savory taste with the added health benefits of potassium and complements any meal. One of the most popular brands, Baron Banana Ketchup contains no artificial color or additives and is available island-wide or found a top restaurant tables. At Akasha, you might get lucky and Richard, the gardener, may have some fresh bananas for you from his trees.
Saint Lucia Crab Back: A traditional seafood specialty, typically served as an appetizer to the main course, the Saint Lucia Crab Back is a simple delight most commonly prepared with local land crab meat, seasonings and herbs within a lemon garlic butter sauce.
In addition to the food don’t forget the Rum and Pitons to wash it all down with. Chairmans and Piton are available in any local bar – unique to St Lucia.
If you stay at Akasha, the luxury villa, then Julietta will prepare more of the local dishes if you just ask her.