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Caribbean Food Recipes

Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Creole, Cajun, Amerindian, European (Portuguese, British, Irish, Spanish/Latin American), East Indian/South Asian, Arab, Chinese and Javanese/Indonesian cuisine. These traditions were brought from many different countries when they came to the Caribbean.In addition, the population has created styles that are unique to the region.

Local Specialties

Martinique's cuisine reflects 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. 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.

Le Matautou de Crabe

This dish is traditionally eaten during Easter and marks the end of the Lent period. The main ingredient is the land or mangrove crab. During the run up to this religious festival many Martinicans will buy or catch their crabs and keep them for a few weeks feeding them a variety of spices and vegetables. The crabs are normally prepared and stuffed with rice, onions, tomatoes, chives, spices and served with spicy sauce. Here is one more.

Accra is a form of fritter and probably the most famous and most common dish in the Caribbean, with each island having their own unique recipe. They are most frequently made with salt fish, prawns or vegetables. They vary from island to island and in Martinique, accras de morue are a signature dish. They are made from a batter in which salt fish is the main ingredient, mixed with spices. Martinicans eat this dish as an appetizer, a snack or sometimes as a breakfast item.


Chatrou is a small octopus frequently used in a number of Martinican dishes. The most famous of these dishes include the Fricassée de chatrou, which is an octopus stew with tomatoes, onions, lemons and other spices. It can also be eaten as a Ragoû de Chatrou, which combines fried octopus with red beans, lentils, white rice and chopped yams. Martinicans frequently get it in a form of a take-away from some of the local, authentic take-out joints.


Colombo is a signature spice of the Island and is widely available from local supermarkets and shops. Colombo is a blend of French, West- and East Indian spices. It combines turmeric, brown mustard seed, hot pepper, coriander, West Indian bay leaf, thyme and black peppercorn. The most famous dishes include Colombo de Martinique which is a curry traditionally made from lamb cooked in coconut milk, ginger and Colombo powder. It is also used to season chicken, goat, pork or vegetables such as aubergine, pumpkin or other local root vegetables.

Literal translation would mean ‘fierce avocado’ and refers to a hot, salt fish appetizer. The idea of fierceness comes from the spice levels used in the dish. The traditional recipe is made from avocado, limejuice, cassava flour (known as ‘manioc’), chillies mixed with spinach leaves and salt fish. There are other variations which include crab or lobster meat. The dish was traditionally eaten for breakfast by workers who worked on sugar plantations.

Lambis is the Creole word for a large sea snail. It may not be something that you are used to eating, but in Martinique just like chatrou, it is a staple. It can be grilled, fried, eaten in a casserole, stew or a pancake. It is frequently served with tomatoes, limejuice, spicy chilli sauce, parsley and salt.

Blanc Manger au Coco

Made from coconut milk, vanilla powder and sugar, this dish is a traditional Martinican dessert. The ingredients are mixed with gelatin and sometimes cinnamon or lime juice and zest to develop a sweet-tangy taste. The ingredients are mixed to a creamy paste and then separated into small bowls and refrigerated, ideally over night. Blanc Manger au coco is eaten cold and ideally served with some red fruits and sometimes with almonds.

Dorade grilée

Dorade, known also as a sea bream, is very common in Martinique. It is grilled and served with potatoes, chips, salad or rice. It is first marinated in lime juice, thyme, salt and pepper and then grilled – sometimes even oven baked.

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