With many villas in the Caribbean offering self-catering visits with the option of a private cook, it’s useful to know that there are a plethora of home-grown markets for guests to explore local ingredients and sample the culinary delights of the tropics.
Boasting a restaurant to suit every taste, a world renowned fish-fry in the form of Oistins and a whole host of awards, Barbados is famous for it’s love of Caribbean cuisine and additionally nurtures its home grown talents.
If yourself and your guests are looking for something different during your visit, I really recommend checking out the Holders Farmers Market on the West Coast. This friendly meeting of local vendors and food enthusiasts happens every Sunday from 9am till 2pm and all are welcome. It provides a “first step to increasing the supply and demand for locally grown, organic foods”.
The produce that can be found here includes:
- Organic herbs, bajan seasonings and spices.
- Vegetables including peppers, carrots, cabbages, beans, squash, lettuces, eggplants and marrows.
- Something for the sweet tooth with homemade cakes, brownies, cheesecake, cookies, smoothies and juices.
- Fresh cow’s milk and local wine.
- Breads, savouries, meats and fishcakes.
The Castries market on the West Coast of St Lucia is a well-known hotspot for local fare and boasts a wide selection of the tastiest St Lucian ingredients. The market is open every day but tends to be the busiest on Fridays and Saturdays. The weekly vendors have an early start, arriving at 4/5am but it is perfectly ok to turn up around 9am to make the most of everything they have to offer.
The stall owners are friendly and welcoming, so don’t be afraid to ask them what the produce are and the best way to cook them. As many of the ingredients have been a staple food source for the island for generations, locals have some of the best tips around to make the most of the flavours and textures.
Adjacent to the craft market is a large craft fair, which is perfect for an island souvenir or a treasured piece of artwork to commemorate your trip.
- The market is home to over 300 full time vendors and another possible 100 or so on market days.
- Today the market has evolved into a place where you can buy almost anything.
- There are a number of small restaurants serving local food within the market.
- You might find the following on sale: Island Spices, Breadfruit, Bananas and other Tropical Fruits, Local Condiments, Hot Food and the Fisherman’s Catch Of The Day.
On Friday and Saturday morning’s in the vibrant city of St John’s, the capital of Antigua, residents and guests alike flock to the buzzing farmers market for a wide range of folk crafts, delicious tropical fruits and a lively crowd. With an aim to encourage fresh local produce, and an awareness into the lives of local farmers, they promote healthy eating and local trade. We recommend the juicy Antiguan black pineapple.
- It’s best to go in the morning, for the pick of the produce.
- There is a brilliant fish market just across the road.
- Head for Market Street in St Johns, then bear right onto Valley Road when the road forks, and the market is on your left opposite the bus terminal.
- Remember to bring a heavy duty bag to carry your purchases!