Enjoying life on the island means many things, but, of course, among these many things, you will always find food on top of the list. At least, this is what we think after living in Santa Lucia for some time now. Traditional dishes can be found anywhere you go, so you cannot miss eating whatever the locals are enjoying. In this post, we want to get you acquainted with some of the most amazing traditional dishes they serve here.
Meet the national dish: bananas and fish
National dishes usually combine whatever can be found in great supplies, and you would most probably expect to find fish in a national dish for a Caribbean island. In Santa Lucia, the dish that the locals enjoy most, and, because it simply tastes so great, the tourists, as well, consists of a combination of green bananas and salted fish. The mix is quite palatable, although we did exchange a few unsure glances between ourselves before digging in for the first time.
First, they take the unripe bananas and sauté them with onion, garlic and other veggies like celery and peppers. Now, despite what you may think of combining bananas with garlic, you should know that green bananas are not sweet at all so you will not mind the mix. The fish used for the recipe is the kind that is kept in salt for preservation reasons. Before actually adding it, the locals make sure to drain away as much salt as possible. The fish is added to the sauté, and this is how you get the final taste. This dish is served at any moment of the day; you can have it for breakfast, for dinner, or for lunch.
Callaloo is the leafy green they grow in Santa Lucia instead of spinach or kale, to give you an idea about what is like. This leafy green is actually represented by the leaves of the taro plant, which is very popular here. The taro root is boiled and mashed, and then combined with the boiled leaves, so in the end, you get a thick soup base that can be combined with crab or other types of seafood. We ate plenty of Callaloo soup here, in various combinations and we think it is pretty representative for the island. We found this recipe on Kitchenettejen.com a website we’ve recently found.However, if you want to make Callaloo crab soup, be aware that it can take ages to extract the crab meat from those tiny legs.