What To Eat When You’re In…Martinique

13th March 2020

As a French overseas territory, Martinique shares the same passion and flair for food as you’ll find in France. Just like on many of the other Caribbean islands, seafood features heavily on the menu, but you will also see dishes with heavy creole influence and some that would not look out of place in a Parisian restaurant.

So, during your Caribbean cruise with Star Clippers, here are some tasty morsels to wrap your mouth around.

Comes With A Kick

Advocado

Chicken Colombo

Colombo is a powerful mix of spices that is used to create a number of different dishes. This combination of turmeric, brown mustard seed, hot chilli powder, coriander, bay leaf, thyme and black peppercorn takes its name from the capital of Sri Lanka and made its way to Martinique when Sri Lankans were brought to the West Indies to work on the sugar plantations.

Colombo chicken uses the spice mixture to create a curry that also includes coconut milk and ginger. Chicken is often used but the dish is just as nice when made with lamb, fish, vegetables or even goat.

Pâtés Créoles

Sold from markets in places such as Fort de France, pâtés creoles are pocket-sized pastries with a filling that packs a punch. Formerly something you would typically eat at Christmas, it’s now no surprise to see them being eaten all year round. A spicy pork mix is stuffed into puff pastry, which is then adorned with intricate patterns and given an egg wash to turn it a lovely golden colour in the oven. There are also sweet versions serving up an oozy filling made from guava or banana jam.

Le Féroce d’Avocat

This menu option is not one for the faint-hearted as it contains a serious kick of spice. Salt cod (or sometimes crab) is mixed with avocado, hot pepper, lime juice, chives and hot sauce to create a spread that is can be used to cover other meats or served back inside the avocado skin. Historically, it was eaten by the aforementioned plantation workers for breakfast and its popularity today highlights the importance of avocado on the island.

Fresh From The Sea

Accras

Fricassée de Chatrou

Martinican cuisine makes great use of the delicious seafood found in the waters around the island. Lobster, red snapper and conch are all popular choices, but chatrou is a favourite too. A chatrou is a small octopus and it is prepared in a variety of different ways depending on the dish. This fricassee includes lemons, tomatoes, onions and a healthy dose of creole spice that creates an unctuous stew. Once ready, it’s typically served with rice and kidney beans.

Accra

Many of the Caribbean islands have their own version of these fritters and the people of Martinique are crazy about their accra. A batter is made using prawns or salt cod and then deep-fried to produce little, golden balls. Eaten as a starter or on sticks as a snack, it is a staple dish that you won’t be able to get enough of.

Sweet Endings

Pain au Beurre

Fpalli / CC BY-SA
Blanc Manger au Coco

If you’re looking for something sweet to finish your meal, many Martinican restaurants will serve their version of blanc manger au coco. It’s a very light dessert that won’t make you feel too guilty and also showcases some of the fresh fruit available on the island. A mixture of coconut milk, sugar, vanilla powder and cinnamon is poured into a small glass and set with gelatine overnight. The creamy mousse-like result is usually topped with berries and almonds.

Pain au Beurre

Highlighting the links to France, this delicious sweet bread is great if you’re on the go, but don’t take it lightly. A lot of effort and preparation goes into making pain au beurre and so it’s commonly made to celebrate Easter. Many people in Martinique will have grown up with the smell of this treat emanating from the kitchen towards the end of Lent and so it still holds great memories around the island. The dough has a fluffy texture and is braided into loaves bearing detailed designs. Once sliced, it is dipped into a chocolate sauce known as first communion chocolate.


If you would like to taste some of these dishes for yourself, learn more about our Caribbean cruises from the Star Clippers team. Call the team on 0845 200 6145 or use our online chat.

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