The food of Guadeloupe Islands – A Vacation Guide

The food of Guadeloupe Islands

Guadeloupe, a beautiful French island in the Caribbean, is no stranger to tourism.  This large island has mostly played host to the well-heeled French and European traveler, but that is quickly changing.  With new direct options from NYC and other parts of United States, Guadeloupe has begun to also attract the American and the Canadian traveler.  This family friendly island is also the perfect destination for a foodie.

Although there is no shortage of places to stay in Guadeloupe, many travelers chose to stay in the village of Gosier.  This (third largest) village on the island is home to some of the greatest resorts in Guadeloupe.  Besides the great resorts located here, the location of Gosier has other advantages as well.  Many fine restaurants and shops can be found right outside the front door of your luxury hotel.  There are plenty of car rental places here as well, so if one day you feel like exploring the island, you can do so with ease and without prior arrangements.

Of all the resorts on the island La Creole Beach Hotel and Spa is the best option for a luxury vacation – and one with easy access to great local cuisine.   La Creole Beach and Spa is a four star hotel is conveniently located in Gosier.  Here you will all the luxury beach vacation offerings – a huge infinity pool, plenty of entertainment options, a great kids club and of course a beautiful beach. You will also find several great restaurants on premises.

Take a walk outside

After you settle in your hotel, or perhaps the next day, take a walk outside.  The center of Gosier is only 15 minutes walk from La Creole Beach Hotel.  As you walk along the water, you’ll see many beaches and plenty of opportunities for pictures.  Find a small restaurant and step in for a drink or lunch.  One of the big advantages of being on this French island is the delicious French food – available without having to fly to Paris.  There are still only a few Americans here, and you will feel the decidedly European vibe of the island at every step.  The French feel combined with the Caribbean welcome is an amazing experience – and worth exploring on your next vacation.  The food too is a combination of French and Caribbean, a unique and tasty one.  Most people here speak at least a little English but google translate comes in very handy, especially when ordering in restaurants.  Most menus are still in French.

Guadeloupe
Jeune vendeuse sur le marché St Antoine de Pointe à Pitre

After your lunch, walk back to your hotel.  On your way back, if you wish stop by a local fruit seller.  At the local shops you will find a variety of fresh fruit in season – mango, pineapple, banana, avocado, all locally grown.  There are fruit planation just about an hour drive from your location – on the south and north coasts of the island.  Eating local is easy here.  If you wish to, you can make arrangements to visit some of those plantations at the concierge desk at Le Creole Beach and Spa.  A safari tour will take you to the south or north of the island.  In the south you can visit pineapple and banana plantations.  In the north there are other fruit including mango and flowers.

Excursion to Marie Galante

Another great tour you can take from the La Creole Beach and Spa is an excursion to the island of Marie Galante.  On this small island just off the coast of mainland Guadeloupe you will find sugar fields as far as the eye can see, and lovely old windmills dot the landscape.  At Marie Galant you will visit several large distilleries and a tour here is a must for any rum fan.  Tour the distilleries and learn all about the fascinating process of making the alcoholic drink Caribbean is so famous for.  After your tour, taste some local flavors of rum.  You will of course have a chance to purchase more rum to take home.  Local Guadeloupe rum is the perfect gift.  At the end of the tour enjoy a lunch at a local eatery.  To finish your day, make your way over to a local beach for a lazy afternoon in a bay protected by large coral fields.

After your excursion to Marie Galant, you probably don’t want to go far from the comfort of your resort.  Perhaps tonight is a good time to enjoy a lovely dinner at La Route De Epices, one of two restaurants at La Creole Beach and Spa.  The buffet style dinner is brimming with delicious French food.  Several varieties of meat are cooked to order and if you have a chance try the lamb.  There is of course a full pasta station.  The salad table is filled with unusual variety of salads – including a sashimi salad that is a must try. The high-end dinner tonight is perfectly complimented with a large selection of wine.

The atmosphere at dinner is, of course, Paris chick.  Don’t be afraid to get dressed up for dinner – you’ll fit right in.  One of the best things about staying at Guadeloupe is people watching in the evening.  Beautiful French women and gentlemen really love to dress up.  It makes for a great, and an unusual addition to a classic Caribbean vacation.

Even the breakfast here has a of a French twist.  A great buffet style breakfast is a must in any good resort, and of course you will find one if you are staying at La Creole.  But be sure to try the French delicacy meats at breakfast, accompanied by freshly baked French bread.  There is also a terrific fresh juice station.

Guadeloupe is a fantastic island for a vacation.  At Guadeloupe you’ll find the beautiful white sand beaches and more infinity pools than you can count. But more than that – you’ll find a beautiful and safe island ready to explore.  Whatever you are in the mood for at the moment – hiking or mountain biking, terrific cuisine, a few hours of leisure at your hotel, snorkeling – you can easily find it in Guadeloupe.   Here too, you’ll find a unique Caribbean French culture so different from the Caribbean culture you will find on many other islands.  Guadeloupe is a place worth coming back to again, and again.  We hope to see you here soon!

@traveltipser

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The cooks feast

Arrivée des cuisinières à la cathédrale
Arrival of the cooks at the mass to bless their foods

One day at the deep of the Creole traditions

Each year, on the 10 of August, the ladies take over the power in Guadeloupe highlighting the rich culture and tradition of the islanders.  Fans of food will mostly remember the delicious dishes, all those local specialties with flavors that will ignite your nostrils, awake you bud taste and open your appetite like no others.

L'association des Cuisinières de Guadeloupe
The cook  association Guadeloupe

The Cook feast is more than just that.

From Generation to generation, the cook ladies cultivate the spirit of the Tradition in a fraternal way, as a reminder of the essence of this movement. This association counts over 200 female chefs, from 14 to 97 years old who proudly show off their islander identity wearing their traditional costumes which are famous for their bright colors and delicately knotted hats that they wear with elegance and certainty.

For over a century, this tradition comes alive every year since the source of this popular movement on the 14 of July 1916.

Beginning of last century, a maid loses her husband and barely can find enough money to bury her lost husband. The word goes around and earing the story of this widow ‘s situation, 5 ladies decides to find a way to help her. They start to collect from one maid to another and soon, a new saying comes to town: the « Cuistot Mutuel » (mutuality chef). This became the first mutual funds organization in Guadeloupe. This guarantee to its members to have a decent burial upon their death. Since then, the Ladies’ cook carry on this tradition and offers their services at funerals.

Messe des Cuisinières à Pointe à pitre
The ladies Chef mass in Pointe à pitre

The true watchdog of the tradition

Over the years, these ladies have built a strong association defending with pride the culinary tradition of the islands along with the traditional costumes and ceremonial rites in Guadeloupe. True watch dog of the Guadeloupean culture, this ladies wear with pride their handmade traditional costumes, easily noticeable by the hand stitched apron with the effigy of St Laurent, their saint.

Some would say you have to have a certain does of humor to use St Laurent as your patron saint.

Father Laurent de Rome was condemned to be burn live because he refused to give away to Rome the treasures of the church to feed the army of the empire. The legend says that his last words were:

« Here we go, miserable soul, now that you have grilled one side of me; turn it over then eat. »

…and there he becomes the Patron saint of the chefs, cook and the meat grillers!

Portrait de femmes remarquables: les Cuisinières de Guadeloupe
Portrait of remarkable women

La procession : time to share and joy for all

After the mass, the ladies Chefs meet at the entrance of the cathedral in their traditional colored costumes. Lining up to start the procession, the chefs carry various local dishes, baskets filled with local fruits and vegetables, kitchen utensils and other local delicacies. The president and her assistants announce the beginning of the festivities by shaking a serenade of bells and start the march. At each street corner, they announce their presence and give away the best meals along the procession. They will go all over cross town singing along the way at the rhythm of the Gwo Ka and sharing with the locals, including some amazing cakes and sweets!

Clochette de la présidente de l'association
Clochette de la présidente de l’association
Défilé des Cuisinières après la messe
Défilé des Cuisinières après la messe
Les futures codons bleu de l'association des Cuisinières
Les futures cordons bleus de l’association des Cuisinières

Then, it is time to all meet for the outdoor food festival. The ladies Chef (Cordon Bleu) will make you taste their specialties and creativity of their unique artistic skills (there is a charge for lunch) One of the best gastronomic experience in the island! later on, music will take over and dancing through the night will be the ultimate finale.

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Happy hour 100% Creole

In order to enjoy a true vacation time in the Caribbean, you need to jump immediately into the Fun!

One way to do it is to start Happy Hour with the famous Ti’ Punch, a local and favorite cocktail of the islanders!

There are many recipes for this island cocktail but this one below is tested and approved!

Ti-punch sur la plage
Ti-punch on the beach

Traditionally, Ti-Punch  is made of white rum but you can also do it with an Amber rum if you want some delicate woody flavors ! then add brown sugar cane or even better a sugar cane syrup ; you can even do you sugar cane syrup yourself for a special touch.

Recette du sirop maison
Recipe homemade sugar cane syrup

Homemadee sugar can syrup

  • 2lbs of brown sugar
  • 4 limes
  • 2 vanilla sticks (split in 2)
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

It will take you only 2 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. Put all the ingredients at once in a pan and cover with the same amount (level) of water. Put the pan on a low fire for half an hour mixing it regularly with a wood spoon. Once you deep your spoon in the sauce pan and you obtain a single fillet of slightly thick liquid (syrup) going down your spoon, it is ready. If you do not obtain the syrup like drop after half an hour of cooking, add some more time under the fire until you get the perfect smooth syrup. Once you have the right consistency, pass the liquid though a metal « Chinois » strainer. Pour the syrup into a glass bottle or a ball glass jar; you can keep it in a fridge for several months.

Réaliser directement dans le verre
Réaliser directement dans le verre

Back to the ti-punch !

For 1 person, in a short wide glass (like a whisky glass)

  • 1 inch of white rum or amber rum
  • ¼ inch of syrup or 3 tea spoon of brown sugar
  • 1 slice of lime

How to prepare it directly in your glass.

Add the syrup or brown sugar first, then press the lime onto it (It also helps melting the brown sugar. Then add the rum. Mix it with a tea spoon. You can also add a slice of lime on the glass edge for decoration.

We usually drink the Ti-Punch with no ice… and it is very good with Accras as an appetizer.

Acras créole
Acras de morue (ou cabillaud)

Accras donuts

An easy recipe that will take you only 20 minutes to achieve.

For 15 accras

  • A quarter pond of salted cod fish (You will need to de-salt it before use by rinsing it and letting the fish sit in a bowl of water for a few hours before use)
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tea spoon of yeast
  • ½ shallots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 few strings of chive finely chopped
  • 1 branch of parsley (curly parsley is preferred)
  • ½ juice of a lime
  • 1 pinch of 4 spices or ½ tea spoon of hot sauce or a ¼ of a finely diced hot pepper
  • Half a glass of water or milk
  • Oil to fry
Préparation des acras
Accras preparation

Preparation

Once you have de-salted the cod fish then steamed it or boiled it, shredded it in pieces into a bowl. Add the spices, the herbs, the shallots and garlic finely chopped and the lime juice. Mix it all very well. Mix the flour with the yeast and add it to the bowl. Mix it well. Add the water step by step and mix to obtain a nice dough.

Heat up the oil.

With a tea spoon, create some balls of the dough and drop it in the hot oil. Let it cook to a golden color.

Once cooked, display them on a metal sheet with a layer of paper towel to absorb the excess of oil.

Acras
Acras

Enjoy it warm!

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