Guadeloupe is located in the French West Indies in the Caribbean. Local cuisine on Guadeloupe reflects the influences of many cultures. Its Creole specialties offer a mix of French finesse and African spice, with a touch of East Indian and Southeast Asian flavors added for good measure. Fresh seafood is a must-try on the island nation, and other recommended dishes include stewed conch, stuffed land crabs, and a variety of curry. Considered one of the centers of culinary excellence in the Caribbean, the Guadeloupe Tourist Office has a list of some 200 recommended restaurants. Visitors should try some of the following local foods when visiting the island.
There are bokit stands everywhere in Guadeloupe. This street food is inspired by the johnny cake and dates from the middle of the 19th century when after slavery was abolished, poor people looked for a cheap alternative to a regular sandwich. Bokit consists of two pieces of deep-fried dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and a vinegar sauce. The bokit stands each have their own take on the dish, which may include the addition of spicy mayonnaise made with curry powder to fresh fish. Bokit is popular as a lunch choice or for late-night dining.
2. Ti’ Punch
Guadeloupe, like other islands in the Caribbean, is home of rum distilleries, which makes it easy to try a sample of this rum-based beverage that comes from the French Antilles. The only ingredient in the drink besides cane sugar and lime juice is a nice smooth rum. Even those who are not fond of rum find Ti Punch irremissible.
This fried fritter is a Caribbean classic and can be found a nearly all daily markets and restaurants. It is usually filled with lobster, cod, or shrimp. The dish reflects a strong African influence and are similar to hush puppies with more flavor. Accra is served with a spicy sauce, and while fish is the typical filling, they are also available stuffed with eggplant for a vegetarian treat.
This is a Creole dish known as Colombo in the French Antilles. It is similar to a stew and reflects the influence of immigrants from Sri Lanka who came to the island in the 19th century to work on sugar plantations. The dish involves Colombo powder, which is a mix of cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cloves. This powder is mixed with vegetables and seafood or meat to provide a staple of Guadeloupe’s French Creole cuisine. It is often served over rice and sweet plantains.
5. Sorbet Coco
Since coconuts are plentiful on the island, locals make use of them in many desserts and breakfast dishes. A good way to enjoy this island specialty is in its frozen form. Sorbet coco can be found at the outdoor markets and on local beaches as a satisfying refreshment. The sorbet is churned to order with a hand-crank and consists of condensed milk and coconut with nutmeg and cinnamon.
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