Bananas, mangoes, passion fruit, plantains, breadfruit, okra, avocados, limes, pumpkins, cucumbers, papaya, yams, christophenes (also called chayote), and coconuts are among the fresh fruits and vegetables that grace St. Lucian menus. The French influence is strong, and most chefs cook with a creole flair. Resort buffets and restaurant fare include standards like steaks, chops, pasta, and pizza—and
every menu lists fresh fish along with the ever-popular lobster which is available in season—August through March.
Caribbean standards include callaloo, stuffed crab back, pepper-pot stew, curried chicken or goat, and lambi (conch). The national dish of salt fish and green fig—a stew of dried, salted codfish and boiled green banana—is, let's say, an acquired taste. A runner-up in terms of local popularity is bouyon, a cooked-all-day soup or stew that combines meat (usually pig tail), "provisions" (root vegetables), pigeon peas, dumplings, broth, and local spices.
Soups and stews are traditionally prepared in a coal pot—unique to St. Lucia—a rustic clay casserole on a matching clay stand that holds the hot coals. Chicken and pork dishes and barbecues are also popular here. As they do throughout the Caribbean, local vendors set up barbecues along the roadside, at street fairs, and at Friday-night "jump-ups" and do a bang-up business selling grilled fish or chicken legs, bakes (fried biscuits), and beer—you can get a full meal for less than $10.
Most other meats are imported—beef from Argentina and Iowa, lamb from New Zealand. Piton is the local brew; Bounty, the local rum.
Guests at St. Lucia’s many popular all-inclusive resorts take most meals at hotel restaurants—which are generally quite good and in some cases exceptional—but it's fun when vacationing to try some of the local restaurants as well—for lunch when sightseeing or for a special night out.
What to Wear: Dress on St. Lucia is casual but conservative. Shorts are usually fine during the day, but bathing suits and immodest clothing are frowned upon anywhere but at the beach. Nude or topless sunbathing is prohibited. In the evening, the mood is casually elegant, but even the fanciest places generally expect only a collared shirt and long pants for men and a sundress or slacks for women.
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