The 10 essential flavours of Guadeloupe

Creole cuisine is a blend of flavors, spices and recipes of different origins. Our top 10 to try before you leave.

Cod or malanga (vegetarian) acras

Often served with a spicy sauce, these fritters made with fish, usually cod, seafood or root vegetables, are flavored with spices and chilli peppers and can be enjoyed as an aperitif.

Creole-style black pudding

Made mainly from pig’s blood, bread, West Indian bay and various herbs and spices, this is a very old charcuterie dish.  It is traditionally eaten at Christmas.

Smoked chicken

For this typical dish, the poultry is first marinaded, then smoked over a sugar cane barbecue. It is served with “dog” sauce (made of onions, chilli peppers, oil and lemon), rice, and yams or sweet potatoes. Mouthwatering!

Planteur punch and ti-punch

The sweet and fragrant Planteur punch is a cocktail of fruit juice, cane syrup, Angostura bitters, lemon and white and mature rums. For spirit drinkers, ti-punch is neat rum with cane sugar and lemon. Alcohol can damage your health.

Coconut sorbet

This is a delicate artisanal icecream obtained from fresh coconut flesh which is pressed and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla and lime zest, using an icecream maker equipped with a crank handle. Be sure to try it!

Coconut egg custard

Proposed for dessert in restaurants and on sale in every bakery, this egg custard with coconut is deliciously fresh.  It is served with a caramel sauce.

Spices

Star aniseed, cumin, colombo, cinnamon, nutmeg, “vegetarian” chilli pepper, annatto… spices are used to flavor fish, seafood, meat and traditional simmered dishes. Spices make West Indian cuisine a surprising mixture!

Tropical fruits

The variety of fruit available at the markets makes your mouth water. Our favorites, to be tried depending on the season, are starfruit, banana, mango, maracuja (aka “passion fruit”) and coconut, not forgetting the water lemon and sugar apple.

Street food

If you’re going exploring, try Guadeloupe’s favorite sandwich! The bokit is fried bread roll filled with shredded cod, chicken, ham, cheese, crudités, tuna… whatever you like!

Spicy sauces

“Dog” sauce, Creoline sauce, “enraged” sauce, avocado sauce, smoked-fish sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce…  they add flavor to any dish. Learn to use them sparingly, or they’ll bring tears to your eyes!

Faustine François

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Everything you need to know about banana !

Bananas are good for mental and physical health, and they provide energy… but they also contribute largely to the island’s economy! Focus on a fruit of many virtues.

History

The banana was brought to Martinique by the Portuguese in the 16th century. But it was of little importance in Guadeloupe until the 20th century. In 1928, a cyclone ravaged the coffee and cocoa plantations. That is when the first banana trees were planted, but it was in the sixties that banana production developed significantly.

Distinctive features

The banana “tree” is in fact a giant herbaceous plant. Once plant – ed, the young banana plant takes nine months to reach full fruit-producing maturity. When it does, the banana flower, or “popotte” emerges, followed by a bunch of bananas which will be picked nine weeks later. In the meantime, biodegradable plastic bags are used to protect the bananas from birds and insects. The fruit becomes ripe for consumption three to four weeks after being harvested.

Cooking

Bananas are used in numerous West Indian dishes, such as chicken colombo (plantain) and pâtés, or incorporat – ed into cheese-topped dishes cooked in the oven, made into crisps or Spanish-style fritters, or even blended into cocktails.

Organic cultivation

Nowadays, banana growers are taking care to limit the use of pesticides. More and more, they are committing to organic and sustainable methods. Good to know: banana skins make an excellent fertilizer.

Faustine François

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