Explore: What to Eat in St. Maarten

July 25th 2023 in Travel
Explore: What to Eat in St. Maarten

Explore: What to Eat in St. Maarten

St. Maarten is a paradise in the Caribbean. It offers breathtaking beaches and stunning landscapes. With that, it also has fresh seafood to delectable Caribbean delicacies. This island is a food lover's dream. Let's explore 15 must-try dishes and treats that will tantalize your taste buds during your visit to St. Maarten.

15 Things to Eat in St. Maarten

From delightful street food to seafood, each dish tells a story of the island's history and heritage. Here is a complete guide on what to eat in St. Maarten:

1. Johnny Cake (Johnny Bread)

Johnny Cake, also known as Johnny Bread, is a beloved local treat and a staple in St. Maarten's cuisine. These fluffy and slightly sweet bread rolls come from a simple dough. This dough is a mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, then fried to golden perfection. Johnny Cake is a delightful snack on its own or paired with savoury dishes.

2. Saltfish and Johnny Cake

A classic St. Maarten breakfast, Saltfish and Johnny Cake. It is a dish that showcases the island's rich culinary heritage. It features salted fish (usually cod) sautéed with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It is then served alongside warm and freshly baked Johnny Cakes. Combining the savoury saltfish and the sweet Johnny Cake is a satisfying breakfast experience.

3. Conch Fritters

Indulge in the flavours of the sea with Conch Fritters, a popular appetizer and snack in St. Maarten. Conch meat is known for its tender and slightly sweet taste. It is a combination of herbs, spices, and a light batter, then deep-fried to a crispy golden brown. These flavorful fritters are often served with a tangy dipping sauce.

4. Guavaberry Liquor

Guavaberry Liquor is a unique and cherished drink. It captures the essence of St. Maarten's local fruit, the guava berry. This rare fruit has rum, spices, and sugar to create a sweet and aromatic liquor. It is a traditional and must-try beverage.

5. Lobster Thermidor

For a luxurious dining experience, indulge in Lobster Thermidor, a dish that showcases the island's finest seafood. The succulent lobster meat is cooked in a rich, creamy sauce with mushrooms, white wine, and cheese and then baked to perfection. This decadent delicacy is commonly found in high-end restaurants on the island and is a true delight for seafood lovers.

6. Fish and Rice

As a testament to St. Maarten's love for seafood, Fish and Rice is a classic and flavorful dish. Freshly caught fish, such as mahi-mahi or snapper, is seasoned with a blend of local spices. It is then served alongside aromatic and fluffy rice. The dish highlights the island's bounty of fresh seafood. It is a must-try for a taste of authentic Caribbean cuisine.

7. Plantain Chips

Plantain Chips are a popular and addictive snack that you'll find all over St. Maarten. Sliced thin and fried until crisp, these chips have a sprinkle of salt. It offers a unique balance of sweet and savoury flavours. Perfect for munching on while relaxing on the beach.

8. Callaloo Soup

Callaloo Soup is a hearty and comforting dish. It reflects the island's African and Caribbean influences. It comes from callaloo leaves, a green leafy vegetable. It is similar to spinach, cooked with crab, okra, onions, and a blend of spices. The result is a flavorful and nourishing soup that will warm your soul.

9. Chicken Roti

Chicken Roti is a flavorful and satisfying dish. It originates from the Indian community on the island. Tender chicken has a rich and aromatic curry sauce, then wrapped in a soft and flaky roti shell. The combination of meat and spices makes this dish a favourite among locals and visitors.

10. Guava Duff

Guava Duff is a delightful dessert celebrating the island's tropical fruit, guava. It is made from a dough enriched with guava puree, butter, and spices, then rolled and boiled until tender. Guava Duff is a sweet treat that captures the essence of St. Maarten's flavours, served warm with a luscious butter rum sauce.

11. Shrimp Souse

Shrimp Souse is a refreshing seafood dish perfect for sunny days on the island. Marinated shrimp have onions, cucumbers, lime juice, and a hint of spice. It creates a zesty and tangy flavour profile. This dish is a popular choice for those seeking a light and flavorful meal.

12. Coconut Water

While exploring the island, quench your thirst with the natural goodness of fresh Coconut Water. It is typically served straight from a young coconut. This refreshing drink is very hydrating. It is also a delightful way to experience the tropical flavours of St. Maarten.

13. Keshi Yena

Keshi Yena is a unique dish that showcases the island's Dutch influence. It consists of a flavorful filling made from shredded chicken, olives, raisins, onions, and spices. All stuffed inside a hollowed-out Edam cheese. The dish is then baked to perfection, creating a harmonious blend of savoury and sweet flavours.

14. Mofongo

Though Mofongo originates from Puerto Rico. It has become a beloved dish in St. Maarten's culinary scene. Mofongo comes from mashed plantains combined with garlic, pork cracklings, and sometimes vegetables. It is typically served with a savoury meat or seafood stew. It is a delicious and satisfying meal.

15. Black Cake

Black Cake is a treasured dessert. It is unique in St. Maarten's culinary traditions, especially during festive occasions like Christmas. The cake is made from dried fruits soaked in rum and local spices, resulting in a rich and moist fruit cake. It is an essential part of the island's holiday celebrations and is a delight to savour.

Exploring the flavours of St. Maarten is an integral part of experiencing the island's culture. So, as you wander the charming streets, indulge in these 15 mouthwatering treats that will leave you craving more of St. Maarten's delights.