guadeloupe-direct, the leading resource for travelers
martinique, local cuisine

Brazilian lobsters served at Auberge de la Distillerie near the Parc National in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe.

GUADELOUPE / Local Cuisine

Local Specialties

Guadeloupe's cuisine mirrors its many cultures. The local Créole specialties combine the finesse of French cuisine with the spice of African cookery and the exoticism of East Indian and Southeast Asian recipes. Fresh seafood appears on most menus. Other specialties include shellfish, smoked fish, stuffed land crabs, stewed conch, and curry dishes. Guadeloupe is considered one of the true culinary capitals of the Caribbean, with some 200 restaurants recommended by the Tourist Office. Some are in hotels, some in lovely settings by the sea, and some on the front porches of the cooks' homes. Local rum drinks often precede a meal and imported French wines often accompany it. Prices for a three-course meal for one person, without wine, range from inexpensive to moderate to expensive. Guadeloupe's most colorful culinary event is the Fête des Cuisinières held annually in early August.

Restaurants and Dining

Dining in the French Caribbean is always a memorable event. An exciting variety of restaurants take advantage of gorgeous settings to complement their culinary delights. Cooking in France is an art form and the French Caribbean continues this delicious tradition. Visitors discover a wide range, from classical and nouvelle French cuisine to spicy Créole and local specialties. Le déjeuner, or lunch, is often the main meal of the day and usually served from 12:00 noon to 14:00.

Although not necessary at lunch, it's generally a good idea to call ahead for dinner reservations. The pace of service in many Caribbean restaurants may surprise first-time visitors. It is wise to remember that standards are different in the West Indies. If you demand fast food and brisk service, perhaps the Caribbean is not for you. However, if you can downshift and relax into a tropical mode, your patience will be richly rewarded. Experienced travelers always arrive at restaurants before they are really hungry and allow extra time for their meals to be prepared and served.

A 15% fee is often included in restaurant bills (service compris) and additional tips are optional. Budget-conscious travelers with kitchenette facilities have learned to avoid the costs of dining out by preparing many of their own meals. Be sure to get a copy of the Ti Gourmet for each island you visit. It is available in hotels, tour offices and restaurants free of charge. This handy little guide offers invaluable, detailed information on local restaurants in English and French.

Please click
here for a directory of Guadeloupe restaurants.

Créole Cooking Terms

Créole cuisine is a delicious mélange of French, African and Indian influences. Exotic seasonings ignite fresh seafood and poultry in prized recipes handed down from generation to generation. If you overindulge and burn your mouth on the hot seasonings, bread (pain) and butter (buerre) will help put out the fire. Local fruits, vegetables and beverages add to the wonderful flavors. Here are some basic terms. Bon appétit!

ACCRAS: fritters, an appetizer
ANANAS: pineapple
BALAOU: small local fish
BELANGERE: eggplant
BLAFF: seafood cooked in seasoned soup
BOUDIN: spicy blood sausage
CABRI: goat
CARAMBOLE: star-shaped fruit
CALALOU/CALLALOO: herb porridge
CHADRON: sea urchin
CHATROU: small octopus
CHIQUETAILLE: shredded, spicy codfish
CHRISTOPHINE: potato-like vegetable
COLUMBO: prepared with curry
COURT-BOUILLON: steamed fish specialty
CRABE FARCI: spicy stuffed crab
CREVETTE: shrimp
CRUDITE: mixed vegetable salad
DASHENE/DACHINE: a nutritional root
ECREVISSE: freshwater crayfish
FEROCE: fiery avocado w/chiquetaille
GAMBAS: prawns
GIRAUMON: local pumpkin or squash
LAMBI: conch
LANGOUSTE: lobster
MALANGA: another nutritional root
MARACUDJA: passion fruit
MORUE: codfish
MOULES: mussels
OUASSOUS: freshwater crayfish
OURSIN: sea urchin
PIMENTS: super hot scotch bonnet peppers
PLANTEUR: rum with tropical juices
POULET: chicken
SAUCE CHIEN: spicy sauce for fish
TI-PUNCH: potent rum w/cane syrup, lime
VIVANEAU: snapper
Z'HABITANTS: crayfish in Martinique

Please click
here for a directory of Guadeloupe restaurants.

Back to Guadeloupe Restaurants Page

Caribbean-Direct Home Page
Home Page About Us Advertising Contact Us Policies / Privacy

© 2001 Caribbean-Direct / All Rights Reserved

Unauthorized Reproduction of Images, Text, Audio, Video or Other Content Prohibited