Welcome to the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis! This miniscule two-island nation is the smallest sovereign nation in the Americas (St Kitts: 68 square miles, Nevis: 36 square miles!), and lies just southwest of Antigua and Barbuda.
First settled by Native Americans, then by the Caribs, St. Kitts and Nevis were discovered by the Spanish just before the 16th century. They, along with the French and the English, were in control of the islands since the 1500’s; the English were the last to be in control until 1983, when the nation became independent.
The islands themselves sprung from now-dormant volcanoes, blanketed in a dense, green rainforest. The soil is rich and fertile – in fact, St. Kitts was originally named Liamuiga, which roughly translates to fertile land.
True to their namesake; fresh produce is ample on St. Kitts and Nevis. Citrus fruits, pineapple, bananas, plantains, coconut, mango, sweet potatoes, yams, avocados, tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, and squash, are among the most common. Fresh seafood and meat (notably goat), are paired with fruits and vegetables, chili, curry, and other spices to create a variety of dishes typical of the Caribbean.
The national dish of St. Kitts and Nevis is stewed salt fish with spicy plantains, coconut dumplings, and seasoned breadfruit. Goat water stew, conch chowder, conch salad, cook-up (chicken, pig tail, saltfish, veggies, rice, pigeon peas), souse, conkies (like tamales), rice and beans, and chicken curry are popular dishes in the country. After dinner treats include jam cake, mango chutney, and an assortment of rum-based drinks.
Have you ever been to St. Kitts and Nevis? What was your favourite part, aside from the cuisine? And, of course, what’s your favourite dish or drink?