10 Best Foods to Try in Martinique

10 Best Foods to Try in Martinique - Boudin

The traditional cuisine of Martinique is a mix of African, French, Caribbean and South Asian cookery. The foods reflect the island’s complicated history and the various cultures that have lived there. Local recipes are based on these global influences and rely on the local fruits, vegetables, fish and meat available there. Many recipes make use of the famously spicy piment antillais chili. Desserts on Martinique tend to favor the use of pineapple, rum, and other local ingredients.  Here are the top 10 Martinican Dishes.

1. Accra

This fritter is one of the most common dishes in the Caribbean, and each island has its own version. Chiefly made from salt fish, prawns, or vegetables, the fritters on Martinique are called accras de morue and feature a batter in which the salt fish is the main ingredient. It is mixed with spices and is often eaten as an appetizer or snack.

2. Boudin

This local sausage can be found in two forms on Martinique:  Bourdin Creole made of pork, pig’s blood, onion and other ingredients, and Boudin Blanc, a white version made of pork without the blood. It sometimes includes prawns, crab, sea conch or fish. Both versions can be eaten hot or cold and are traditionally served at Christmas.

3. Chatrou

This small octopus I frequently used in Martinique dishes. The most commonly known is the fricassee of octopus, which is a stew made with tomatoes, onions, lemons, and spices. The octopus can also be served as Ragou de Chatrou, which features red beans, lentils, white rice and chopped yams. It is favored by locals as a take-out dish.

4. Colombo

This is the signature spice of Martinique and can be found in local supermarkets and shops. It is a mix of French, West-Indian and East-Indian spices, combining turmeric, brown mustard seed, hot pepper, coriander, bay leaf, thyme, and black peppercorns. The most famous dishes featuring the spice combination include Colombo de Martinique, a curry made from lamb cooked in coconut milk, ginger, and Colombo powder. The spice is also used as a seasoning on chicken, goat, pork, and vegetables.

5. Ti Punch

This traditional drink is part of the island’s culture and history. The chief ingredient is rhum Agricole, or cane juice rum distilled in the West Indies. It is made of freshly squeezed cane juice instead of molasses. In the punch, the rum is combined with sugar cane syrup and lime juice. Often, customers mix their own punch from ingredients provided by a barman to create the drink to their own taste.

6. Lambis

This is the Creole term for a large sea snail. It is a staple dish in Martinique and is served grilled, fried, in a casserole, in a stew, or in a pancake. Often served with tomatoes, lime juice, a spicy chili sauce, parsley and salt.

7. Le Matautou de Crabe

Traditionally served during the Easter season at the end of Lent, its main ingredient is the land or mangrove crab. Residents buy or catch these crabs prior to the religious festivals and keep them for several weeks, feeding them with various spices and vegetables. The crabs are then stuffed with rice, onions, tomatoes, chives, spices, and served with a spicy sauce.

8. Le Féroce d’Avocat

The literal translation of this dish is the “Fierce Avocado.” It is so named in reference to its role as a hot, salt fish appetizer. It is extremely spicy, with the traditional recipe including avocado, lime juice, cassava flour, chili mixed with spinach leaves, and salt fish. Variations in the recipe may include crab or lobster instead of salt fish. The dish was traditionally eaten by workers on sugar plantations for breakfast.

9. Blanc Manger au Coco

This traditional island dessert is made of coconut milk, vanilla powder and sugar. These ingredients are combined with gelatin, cinnamon or lime juice to give a sweet and tangy taste. The ingredients are mixed into a creamy paste, which is put into small bowls and refrigerated overnight. The dish is served cold, often with red fruits or almonds.

10. Dorade grilée

Also called sea bream, this is a common dish in Martinique. The bream is grilled and served with potatoes, chips, a salad or rice. It is prepared with a marinade of lime juice, thyme, salt and pepper, and can be grilled or baked in the oven.

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