A taste of St kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis is home to first-rate seafood and a fusion of flavours. Chef Jasmine Francis shares her highlights

By Jasmine Francis
Published 11 May 2019, 09:17 BST
St Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis
Photograph by Alamy

What I love about the cuisine of St Kitts and Nevis, especially in the past few years, is the mix of different cultures and cuisines. We have our Kittitian dishes, but we also have everything from Jamaican and Guyanese to Spanish and American foods. We’re such a small pair of Caribbean islands yet this is a beautiful and unique place that’s blessed with incredible culinary diversity. 

The dishes

Goat water: This rich goat meat stew is thickened with flour and packed with local vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and red beans, as well as breadfruit. It’s a local favourite and one of the many traditional Saturday lunch dishes.

Stewed saltfish: Served with coconut dumplings and seasoned breadfruit, this is our national dish. It’s a tasty blend of vegetables, spices, coconut and salted cod, which has a distinctive flavour. It’s an acquired taste, but must be tried at least once.

Johnny cake: Originally called journey cakes, but known by most as Johnny cakes, these fried balls of dough are sweet and crisp. You’ll often find them served as part of a traditional breakfast, with stewed saltfish, hard boiled eggs, lettuce and tomatoes.

Bahamas Conch fritters surround a spicy dipping sauce
Photograph by Alamy

Where to eat

Sprat Net, Basseterre: This place is about as far from stuffy as it gets, with outdoor tables, regular live music and a fishing boat that’s filled with fresh lobsters — the restaurant’s motto is ‘we only eat the ones we catch’.

Marshalls, Frigate Bay: One of the more formal restaurants on the island, Marshalls has a menu that fuses Caribbean and international cuisines, including conch fritters, lobster, escargots and lamb chops.

Lion Rock, Basseterre: Sunday is beach day, and we like to visit this laid-back, family-owned beach bar. I’m told they make a tempting rum punch, but I usually order the jerk chicken, or any of the seafood items on the menu. This is fresh, authentic Caribbean food that’s oozing with flavour.

Jasmine Francis is the owner and chef of El Fredo’s, a restaurant and bar in Basseterre, St Kitts. 

Published in the June 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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