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front and sell various seafood and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Some of the items on sale include curried lobster, octopus, whelks, steamed snapper, johnnycakes and fish cakes, just to name a few. You get healthy portions, so bring your appetite. During my visit I tried whelks for the first time. A portion usually consists of six whelks (like big snails) and a wedge of lime. You tease the whelk out of its shell

Small bakeries offer a variety of tempting St. Lucian pastries

Ti Kaye Village Resort on the beach at Anse Cochon (West Coast of St. Lucia)

Waterfront Dining Boatside Meal Orders Call (758) 456-8118 or VHF Channel 16

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Ti Manje Restaurant & Bar

CARIBBEAN COMPASS

with a toothpick and squeeze the limejuice all over it. All parts are edible except the shell and the hard part at the end (called the operculum), which is what the animal uses as a trap door to seal itself in its shell. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to sample octopus, but it is a good excuse to visit the island again. There are also some snacks on sale at Anse La Raye, such as fish cakes (dough mixed with salted fish and fried to form fritters). Another type of cake at the party is johnnycakes, which are small, round, thick breads around the size of a saucer, baked on a hot griddle. These are usually ordered as a side dish, which you break and use to soak up the delicious sauce that comes with your fish. Other towns have their own version of Sea Food Fridays, such as Gros Islet, near Rodney Bay, whose Jump Up is also held on Friday nights. The town of Dennery on the east coast has its festival on a Saturday night. One thing I found very difficult to find was local homemade sweets. But when I did find them, they were unique. While at the fish festival, a lady with a wooden tray came around and one of her sweets was a nut brittle made from sea almonds. Another time I visited a small shop and a type of sweet on sale was shaved coconut that had been coated in sugar syrup and dried. So if you have a sweet tooth for the unusual and local, look for these at festivals and little shops. All in all, St. Lucia is an island that will keep you and your taste buds busy. If you are looking for a new island to taste, I encourage you to check it out!

DECEMBER 2010

—Continued from previous page This eye-catching restaurant had only been in business for three weeks. The special of the day when I visited was stewed oxtail, so I got to taste stewed meat from another island. It is served family style, side dishes like rice and salad are made, and you take as much as you want. They bring your meat according to your order, that is, a small or large portion. One of the places I made sure to visit during my trip to St. Lucia was the Castries Market. Established 115 years ago, this structure is one of the natural attractions of St. Lucia when it comes to food, because here you can get all sorts of local fruits and vegetables. It is also where I had my first “Lucian” roti. It consists of a thin, baked bread, like a flour tortilla, filled with your choice of fish or stewed meat, such as chicken, beef or goat. If restaurant dining is more your thing, then the Hummingbird Beach Resort is the place for you. Located at the end of the Soufriere waterfront, it has great ambiance with intricate wooden sculptures and a small batik studio where you can browse and buy items. La Haut Plantation is another great place to dine. It is here I had my very first taste of flying fish in a succulent tartar sauce. Another great location for local food in Soufriere is Feddoe’s, known to serve a good roti. They usually run out long before lunchtime so you have to get there early, usually before noon. They are also known for their Creole-style cuisine. But the best roti I tasted was at Angel’s Restaurant. This little establishment came highly recommended. If you ask anyone in Soufriere where is a good place to get a meal, they will direct you to Angel’s, named after one of the owners. [Editor’s note: the town of Soufriere received damage from the passage of Hurricane Tomas on October 30th. By the time you read this, businesses should be back in operation, but it might be wise to phone ahead first and confirm.] Another unique place you must stop at is Plas Kassav in Anse-La-Verdure in Canaries. The specialty of this establishment is cassava bread. First the cassava is ground and dry-roasted in a large metal pot to make cassava flour, which is used to make cassava bread. Plas Kassav also makes farine, which is cassava flour ground to a finer texture. The cassava bread here comes in 12 flavours that were developed by owner Rosario Wilson’s mother. The flavours include coconut, ginger, cinnamon, peanut, chocolate and smoked herring. Some are big sellers like chocolate, which often “finishes” by early afternoon. Some flavours are also not made every day so you have to keep checking in if you want to sample them all. After buying you can sit and enjoy, or browse their small collection of souvenirs on sale. As on most if not all islands in the Caribbean, barbecue is a staple on the weekends and from as early as 4:00PM, you can see people setting up their stalls and pits around the town square or in one of the side streets in an effort to catch the people as they head to the square. Another big food here is pizza. St. Lucians love pizza, evident by the many food trucks that sell this. However, it seems that it is a popular nighttime snack, as you would find these trucks parked at the side of the road vacant and lifeless during the day but coming alive at dusk. But if you want a quick snack during the day there are numerous bakeries and, with tasty pastries ranging from 50¢ to EC$1.00, they are an affordable treat. While I was in St. Lucia I was fortunate enough to visit the Sea Food Friday at Anse La Raye. You cannot miss this. It starts at around 6:00PM and goes on until 4:00AM and even longer, as some bars might be open all night. The main road passes through the town of Anse La Raye (you literally cannot miss it if you’re driving). Basically a Sea Food Friday is a big street party. People set up stalls along the water-

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