A Mixture of Cultures in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten
Saint Martin is a small island in the Caribbean that is divided between France and the Netherlands. The southern portion of the island belongs to the Netherlands, and is referred to as Sint Maarten, while the northern half is French and called Saint Martin. Its history is similar to neighboring islands – it was occupied by the French, Spanish, English, and Dutch over the last three centuries, but was officially divided between the two countries in 1648.
The French and Dutch cultural influences create an interesting mélange; cuisine, language, and customs vary from one side of the island to the other, but are also much intertwined. Though there are many different languages, a local dialect of Creole is common, and of course, Creole food stands out among the other types of cuisine. This is an island known for its food. Obviously French food plays a big part, but this island is truly a melting pot of culture, therefore it’s a melting pot of cuisine as well.
Food is pretty typical of the region in Saint Martin. French, Dutch, African, Creole and West Indian dishes dominate, but other cuisines (think Chinese, American, Spanish, Thai, and Indian) are becoming very popular. Among the local specialties are Ti-nain Morue (dry cod with banana), Lambi (sea snails), Boudin (blood sausage), and Chicken Colombo. Of course there is also an abundance of French wine and local rum available. Saint Martin’s national dish is Callaloo Soup with Pork Cubes, and the national drink is Guavaberry, a specialty liquor.
So have you ever been to Saint Martin/Sint Maarten? What was your favourite part of the island, and best of all, what was your favourite dish?3 comments