For many travelers, food is a primary concern when choosing destinations. After all, if you can’t find a decent meal, your vacation probably isn’t going to be very enjoyable – no matter how spectacular the beaches might be. But what about St. Martin? This island has a reputation for offering some of the most varied culinary experiences on the planet, so what exactly can you expect?
Expect Plenty of French Cuisine
France had a strong colonial presence in St. Martin, and the nation’s legendary culinary tastes have certainly rubbed off on this Caribbean island. In fact, it is considered the “French culinary capital of the Caribbean.” This might be music to your ears, especially if you’re a French Canadian who wants to experience meals that seem somewhat familiar.
Restaurants and shops in St. Martin often offer French staples such as escargot, crepes, baguettes, and a range of excellent cheeses. If you’re familiar with French food, you’ll find that the standards are comfortingly high in St. Martin, and these dishes seem just as authentic as the ones you might taste in Paris. And of course, you can also expect plenty of high-quality French wines.
Experience Real Caribbean Masterpieces
Of course, you can also grab some authentic Caribbean food as well. Restaurants known as “lolos” are popular among the locals, and you’ll find plenty of fresh grilled seafood, fried plantains, and ribs in these quaint establishments. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can also try traditional skewered goat – a Creole staple that can be surprisingly tender and bursting with flavor.
Many people like to think of St. Martin as a microcosm of Europe that just so happens to be in the middle of the Caribbean, and the cuisine certainly reflects this. If French cuisine isn’t quite satisfying your tastebuds, you can wander into a Spanish-style tapas bar for a slightly more Mediterranean vibe. Better yet, you can order a jug of Sangria to put the finishing touch on an unforgettable lunch.
If you’re looking for something interesting to eat for breakfast, order yourself a bowl of Johnny Cakes. This is an extremely popular dish in St. Martin, and you can also order them at Brunch or at dinner. Made from cornmeal, these little round cakes remind many Americans of pancakes and are served with honey, jam, and other sweet condiments. Canadians might even have the chance to have them with maple syrup!
Conch and Dumplings
This is one of those meals you just have to try at least once before you leave the white shores of St. Martin. Known as a truly Caribbean dish, this features a local sea snail that has been cooked in a pressure cooker before being packed into scrumptious dumplings. The dumplings are then seasoned with herbs and spices before being topped off with gravy.