Fiery scotch bonnet peppers add spice to Créole cooking in Marie-Galante
The cuisine of Marie-Galante reflects its many cultures. The local Créole specialties combine the finesse of French cuisine with the spice of African cookery and the exoticism of East Indian and Southeast Asian recipes. Fresh seafood appears on most menus. Other specialties include shellfish, smoked fish, stuffed land crabs, stewed conch, and curry dishes. Local rum drinks often precede a meal and imported French wines often accompany it. Prices for a three-course meal for one person, without wine, range from inexpensive to moderate to expensive.
Restaurants and Dining
Dining in the French Caribbean is always a memorable event. An exciting variety of restaurants take advantage of gorgeous settings to complement their culinary delights. Cooking in France is an art form and the French Caribbean continues this delicious tradition. Visitors discover a wide range, from classical and nouvelle French cuisine to spicy Créole and local specialties. Le déjeuner, or lunch, is often the main meal of the day and usually served from 12:00 noon to 14:00.
Although not necessary at lunch, it's generally a good idea to call ahead for dinner reservations. The pace of service in many Caribbean restaurants may surprise first-time visitors. It is wise to remember that standards are different in the West Indies. If you demand fast food and brisk service, perhaps the Caribbean is not for you. However, if you can downshift and relax into a tropical mode, your patience will be richly rewarded. Experienced travelers always arrive at restaurants before they are really hungry and allow extra time for their meals to be prepared and served.
A 15% fee is often included in restaurant bills (service compris) and additional tips are optional. Budget-conscious travelers with kitchenette facilities have learned to avoid the costs of dining out by preparing many of their own meals. Be sure to ask for a copy of the Ti Gourmet. It is available in hotels, tour offices and restaurants free of charge. This handy little guide offers invaluable, detailed information on local restaurants in English and French.
Please click here for a directory of Marie-Galante restaurants.
Créole Cooking Terms
Créole cuisine is a delicious mélange of French, African and Indian influences. Exotic seasonings ignite fresh seafood and poultry in prized recipes handed down from generation to generation. If you overindulge and burn your mouth on the hot seasonings, bread (pain) and butter (buerre) will help put out the fire. Local fruits, vegetables and beverages add to the wonderful flavors. Here are some basic terms. Bon appétit!
ACCRAS: fritters, an appetizer
BALAOU: small local fish
BLAFF: seafood cooked in seasoned soup
BOUDIN: spicy blood sausage
CARAMBOLE: star-shaped fruit
CALALOU/CALLALOO: herb porridge
CHADRON: sea urchin
CHATROU: small octopus
CHIQUETAILLE: shredded, spicy codfish
CHRISTOPHINE: potato-like vegetable
COLUMBO: prepared with curry
COURT-BOUILLON: steamed fish specialty
CRABE FARCI: spicy stuffed crab
CRUDITE: mixed vegetable salad
DASHENE/DACHINE: a nutritional root
ECREVISSE: freshwater crayfish
FEROCE: fiery avocado w/chiquetaille
GIRAUMON: local pumpkin or squash
MALANGA: another nutritional root
MARACUDJA: passion fruit
OUASSOUS: freshwater crayfish
OURSIN: sea urchin
PIMENTS: super hot scotch bonnet peppers
PLANTEUR: rum with tropical juices
SAUCE CHIEN: spicy sauce for fish
TI-PUNCH: potent rum w/cane syrup, lime
Z'HABITANTS: crayfish in Martinique
Please click here for a directory of Marie-Galante restaurants
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