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FRENCH CREOLE CUISINE, A RICH CULINARY HERITAGE

Guadeloupe Islands’s cultural melting pot and variety of spices have given rise to a rich culinary heritage which can be found everywhere, from French Creole restaurants to the stands selling “bokits” (jonnycakes). French Creole cuisine, a fusion of Caribbean, European, Indian, African and Oriental cultures, places an emphasis on products from the sea and a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. It’s a refined combination of French Savoir Faire and Caribbean Flavors.

As one would suspect, seafood abounds in Guadeloupe—in fact, the islands boast the world’s secondhighest fish consumption per capita. Fish court bouillon, clam blaff, grilled crayfish, and conch stew are just a few of the succulent seafood dishes you can sink your teeth into. With over a third of the land devoted to agriculture, farm-fresh ingredients have also become a staple in Guadeloupe. In fact, with so many locals growing their own fruit and vegetables, the islanders were eating organic long before it became trendy. The classics are always served in generous portions to be enjoyed with family or at holiday celebrations.

FESTIVAL OF COOKS
For almost a century, this festival has taken place every year around 10th August in celebration of Saint Lawrence, the patron saint of cooks. Dressed in their finest clothes, wearing headscarves made of madras and aprons embroidered with their emblem(Saint Lawrence’s gridiron), chefs travel to the Basilica of St-Peter and St-Paul to have baskets of food, flowers and cooking utensils blessed by the clergy. On leaving the church, they walk through the town to the delight of all other inhabitants. Then around 250 top chefs from the Cooks’ Association gather with the locals for a lunch with many intervals of song and dance.

MARKETS
Bursting with flavour and colour, the markets along the beaches and in the hearts of towns are an essential part of Guadeloupean life:
- The local coffee is made from the “Bourbon Pointu”, a high-quality variety. The way it is cultivated and the quality of its Arabica bean make it one of the world’s finest coffees.
- Cocoa is transformed into a creamy hot chocolate.
- An array of spices: vanilla with its large scented pods along with peyi saffron, white and black pepper, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, West Indian bay tree and more.

RUM
Guadeloupean rum, the classic, national drink, can be tasted in the archipelago’s 9 distilleries which offer tours and tastings.
The local aperitif “Ti-punch” (lemon, rum and sugar) is a way of life! Guadeloupe Islands still boast a major sugar industry and produce both artisanal and industrial rum. Marie-Galante, with three distilleries, is the biggest artisanal producer of traditional rum.

No trip to Guadeloupe would be complete without partaking of the local specialties. For a sneak peek of the spicy, colourful diversity of Creole cuisine, check out these 2 videos (Part 1&2) where CHRISTINA FROM THE WATCHA COOKIN’ SHOW prepares a Coconut Rundown with Pinapple Chicken and our famous Passion Fruit Rum Punch!

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