St. Martin is the culinary capital of the Caribbean.
Chefs at the island’s gourmet restaurants combine local traditions and local ingredients with their European savoir-faire.
Tourists will appreciate the subtle blend of flavours, the douceurs épicées, annatto spice, the christophine or chayote squash, fish, lobsters and shellfish.
Reflecting the multicultural nature of the island itself, the diverse cuisine of St. Martin will delight your taste buds and dazzle all your senses.
A selection of traditional recipes is given at the bottom of the page. Don’t forget that there are many more waiting to be tried and tasted, cooked up by top chefs in the Restaurants of St. Martin.
The cuisine of Saint Martin, and the Caribbean in general, has its own very original and unique flavour, which reflects its friendly feel and the profound sense of joie de vivre here.
Local cooking reflects the island’s sunny climate, the cheerfulness of its inhabitants, and its traditional music. Outdoor cooking on large barbecues is very popular here.
Traditional produce and flavours on St. Martin
Le Planteur, a cocktail of Caribbean flavors.
Each has his own recipe... there are as many recipes as beaches on St. Martin...
Here's one for 4 people:
- 150ml white rum or old rum
- 300ml of orange juice
- 300ml of pineapple juice
- 300ml of guava juice,
- sugar cane syrup
- angostura bitters
Mix the fruit juices, the rum and the sugar cane syrup. Add a pinch of nutmeg and a dash of Angostura.
Drink with moderation
The Guavaberry is a traditional liqueur of Saint-Martin produced from aged rum, brown sugar and wild guavaberries that grow in the hills in the centre of the island.
The Guavaberry is traditionally drunk for the Christmas in Saint Martin families.
And a bottle is tradionally found in each family in order to really enjoy Christmas.
The guavaberry : is a fruit that grows in the islands and is also a liqueur produced from the fruit.
It is called guavaberry, mirto or murta in Puerto Rico; Guavaberry in Saint-Martin and Saint-Eustache; guaveberry guayabillo in Guatemala; coconut-carette, cherry-cherry, in Guadeloupe and Martinique
Ribs, nothing but a tradition on Saint Martin! On our island, everyone has his own recipe, and each are incredibly delicious! A dish to be enjoyed in one of the typical lolos of the Friendly Island!
For 4 persons:
- 1 kg of pork ribs, chopped
- Wash the pieces with the lime and cider vinegar
- Marinate 2 hours
- 1 onion
- 6 garlic cloves
Prepare the sauce in a container: Prepare a marinade with a good amount of BBQ sauce, onion and 6 cloves of garlic chopped, with lime juice.
Place ribs directly on the grill with the marinade over it. Served with plain or Creole rice!
Fritters are delicious. They can be served as appetizers, or as a part of the main course, or as a fine luncheon dish with a green salad.
To remove salt, soak codfish in cold water for 12 hours. Drain. Boil in water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain. Remove bones and mince.
In a heavy skillet, heat butter and olive oil over moderate flame, and sauté onion, celery, and green Pepper until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and pour off gréasse. In a seperate bowl, thoroughly mix vegetables, tomato, thyme, Tabasco, Pepper and codfish.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add egg yolks and milk and mix until thoroughly blended. Add to vegetable and codfish mixture and blend. In a heavy skillet, heat the corn oil (360° F).
Drop 2 tablespoons of mixture at a time in hot oil. Deep fry until golden Brown, about 6 minutes. Remove fritters with a slotted spoon or strainer and drain on paper towel. Serve hot.
Serves about 6 ; Makes about 12 fritters.
The creole court-bouillon is a typical and famous recipe of the Caribbean.
This recipe of fish with sauce is usually serve with a Creole white rice.
Cut the cleaned fish into pieces first.
For 1 hour, soak the pieces in a mixture of lemon juice, hot pepper, garlic and salt.
In hot oil, fry the chopped chives and seeded tomatoes.
Add the marinated fish pieces to the mix.
Brown on both sides.
Cover with water, then add thyme and hot pepper.
Cover the simmer and cook over low heat 15 to 20 minutes.
When cooked, add 2 cloves crushed garlic mixed with lime juice.
Ready to serve !
Serves 2-3 people.
The chiquetaille (meaning "shred") is a typical recipe of the French West Indies.
It is usually served on lettuce leaves or as "avocado féroce" (introduce the flesh of a ripe avocado mashed with a bit of manioc flour).
De-salt the codfish beforehand, grill.
Remove bones if needed and shred the cod with your fingers.
Mince the onion, garlic and hot peeper.
Mix with the codfish.
Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.
Patties are plump little pastries filled with spicy meat, shrimp or fish. They are served everywhere around the world at tea or cocktail parties as appetizers or with the main course. Patties should be prepared in abundance, since they disappear quickly. They can be baked or deep fried, served hot or cold.
To prepare meat filling : mix all ingredients except eggs in a heavy pot. Cook over medium heat until meat loses its color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour off grease. Place in a bowl and cool slightly. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Mix thoroughly.
To prepare crust : separate egg. Beat while lightly. Hold yolk. (Although the entire egg can be used in the crust if desired it is preferable to use the white only). Fold shortening and salt into the egg white. Add flour, a little at a time. Add water and remaining flour until flour is completely absorbed.
After dough is formed, knead well. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a thin sheet, then cut out in circles about 3 inches in diameter. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each pastry circle. Moisten edges of pattie with reserved egg yolk and fold pastry circle over itself. Press edges firmly. Prick patties with a fork and fry in deep hot oil (375° F) until golden brown. If baking, place patties on a greased cookie sheet and bake in preheated 400°F oven until golden brown on both sides.
Makes about 1 ½ dozen.
Pigeon peas are tan or light brown with a black “eye” and are available dried in most food stores. They are also known as cajanus, gongo peas and gandules.
Soak peas in 3 to 4 cups of cold water overnight. Drain and rinse peas.
Blanch salt pork in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain. In a soup kettle, cook salt pork over low heat for 5 minutes. Add peas, water, and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 2 to 3 hour, or until the peas are tender. Remove bay leaf. Correct seasoning.
Note : Ham hocks may be substituted for salt pork.
In a heavy pot, heat oil and butter over a moderate flame.
Sauté onions, celery, garlic, carrots, pumpkin, red pepper, potatoes, and lamb for 5 to 7 minutes.
Add water, thyme, white pepper, salt, bay leaf, and tomato paste.
Cover and simmer for é hours, skimming surface occasionally.
Stir in vermicelli and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until vermicelli are soft.
Journey cakes can be eaten either hot or cold, with butter, jam, syrup, or honey. Legend has it that the journey cake was prepared by women before their husbands set off for work in the morning. It could be made quickly and provided enough energy as a meal in the middle of the day.
Now journey cakes are served at breakfast or brunch, or as a complement to an entrée.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add water, a little at a time. Mixture will begin to get sticky. Knead dough with hands until loose flour is blended but dough is not clinging to fingers. If dough begins to cling, add a dusting of flour to bowl and roll dough in it. Continue kneading until smooth.
Dust a cutting board with flour and gently roll dough into a long roll about 1 ½ to 2 inches in a diameter. Cut into 1inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball about the size of a lime. Flatten balls gently with you palms or with a floured rolling pin.
Heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a skillet. Slowly fry journey cakes to golden yellow on both sides. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel.
Makes about & dozen.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Mix together all ingredients except egg whites and blend well.
Fold in egg whites.
Bake pudding in a greased baking dish for about 1 hour
It may be served warm or cold, topped with whipped cream or ice cream.
Makes about 12 servings.
Source : Ma Chance's French Caribbean Creole Cooking
Jeanne Louise Duzant Chance G. P. Putman's Sons Publishers