Ready for a taste of Martinique?
Martinique’s cuisine has evolved from the island’s rich and complex past. Over the centuries, African, European, Indian and Creole influences have enriched it and made it unique. This blend of cultures can today be found in each of our dishes, be it in the ingredients and spices we use, in our associations of flavors or in our methods of cooking. The cuisine of Martinique is an exciting journey in itself.
Let's eat • Annou aziz bò tab •
Let's eat • Annou aziz bò tab •
Heavenly Colors & Flavors
Martinique is brimming with delicious local food products and delicacies that will excite your senses and give your taste buds a tantalizing treat. Here we have prepared you a list of our must-try specialties that will bring you a little taste of Martinique with each bite.
Accras (or acras) are the small fritters that you will often see served as an appetizer and they are a real institution here in Martinique. Although traditionally made with cod, you will also find vegetable or shrimp versions. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, accras are typically enjoyed warm with a subtly spicy sauce, our classic “sauce chien”. Drooling yet?
Prepared using onion, chives, parsley, an infusion of thyme, chili, garlic, oil and lemon, our famous sauce chien is bursting with flavor and goes extremely well with accras, as well as all barbecued dishes, appetizers, fish and meat.
Another very popular appetizer that you might also see served with Ti-punch is Boudin créole, a form of small sausage made using a mixture of fresh pork blood, stale bread crumbs and finely minced onion browned in lard. Ready to try some?
This traditional dish that you will often find on restaurant menus is in fact an octopus stew, cooked with a blend of spices and herbs.
Fricassée de chatrou generally comes with rice and kidney beans and is a delicious experience you are sure to remember.
If you like down-to-earth, authentic cuisine, don’t miss this typical dish whose two key ingredients are green banana or ti nain, cooked in water, and seasoned cod. This hearty, good-value dish was historically served to fishermen and land laborers. Generally accompanied by cucumber, avocado and Bondamanjak hot pepper, its unique combination of flavors promises you a wholesome and classic Martinican food experience. Yum!
What would Martinican and Creole cuisine be without the characteristic local spices and aromatics that make it so special, like cinnamon, vanilla, lime zest, mixed spice, bouquet garni, country onion, blessed thistle, colombo powder, cucurma (also known locally as manja), galangal root and ginger?
You will find all these little treasures on local markets alongside locally grown fruit and vegetables as well as fresh fish.
And for Some
To learn all the secrets of our AOC rum, take a trip to one of the island’s many distilleries or visit our bars or restaurants. You’ll discover the unique savoir-faire of our barmen and barmaids and enjoy a terrific tasting of their original rum-based creations using local plants and fruits.
Martinique is also brimming with sun-drenched and vitamin-filled tropical fruits, such as guava, mango, pineapple, maracudja (passion fruit) and even soursop. Pressed into fresh, natural juices, they make a refreshing drink after a long day of hiking or lazing on the beach. You can also taste our “thé pays”, a truly unique kind of local herbal tea, made with bushy lippia, atoumo, lemongrass and ginger among other things.
Our Street Food Culture
And if you see a truck alongside the road loaded with coconuts, make sure you pull up. It will be your chance to taste coconut water, a natural drink with hydrating properties. You can buy it in small bottles or served straight from the nut with a straw. Now that’s a true Martinican experience!
Another excellent refreshment is cane juice, which many small producers sell on stalls at the entrance to towns.
You should also keep a look out alongside the road for the many BBQ trucks with their delicious smells of grilled meat.
As you can see, Martinique caters well for food lovers. Even at the beach, there are plenty of snacks to choose from, like coconut sorbet, sinobol (fruit-flavored granita) and churros. Irresistible!
Room for dessert?
One on the must-try list is our coconut flan. Indulge yourself with this creamy, fragrant dessert made from coconut milk, eggs, sweetened and unsweetened condensed milk and vanilla. With its smooth texture, it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted. It often comes topped with a thin layer of caramel sauce, making it even more delicious.
Another traditional dessert of Martinique is blancmange. Made with coconut milk, vanilla and agar-agar (vegetable gelatin), it is the ideal dessert if you are looking for a light and deliciously fragrant finale to your meal.
Often flavored with lime zest and cinnamon, coconut flan and coconut blancmange are mouthwatering experiences that all will enjoy.
As for typical Martinican sweet bites, our homemade sorbets – with flavors like guava, coconut, peanut, etc.– make a gloriously fresh and fruity treat. We also suggest you try the little pastries we call “pâtés sucrés”. Made with shortcrust pastry, they have a delicious filling of tropical fruit preserve, such as banana, guava or pineapple, and are often flavored with a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg. And of course, another tradition not to miss is our first communion butter bread with hot chocolate, which you’ll find scrumptious for sure.
Recipes to Try at Home
Whether you want to try Martinican food for the first time or re-experience it time and time again, have a go at reproducing our delicious recipes at home!