Green Fig & Salt Fish: The National Dish of St Lucia
A remnant of Saint Lucia’s colonial heritage is its diet. Saint Lucians eat a lot of root tubers namely yams, dasheen, tania which is West African in origin. The banana was also transported during the colonial period.
While all these foods are widely eaten, only one has risen to prominence to be included as part of the island’s national dish; the banana.
The banana, or fig as it is called, is coupled with salt fish to form Saint Lucia’s national dish.
Salt fish is simply fish that has been salt-cured and dried and cut into thick slices.
It was first introduced to the Caribbean in the 16th century. A bartering system of sorts was in effect whereby ships from North America, mainly Canada would come loaded with salt fish and return with rum, molasses and sugar. The salt fish brought was mainly salted cod, but today other types of fish are being used.
The key to a great tasting green fig and salt fish is in the seasoning applied to sauté the salt fish. Typically, the salt fish is sautéed with fresh garlic, onions, tomatoes and green pepper. However, everyone boasts that they make the best.
Follow the links below for recipes. Try making it on your own and let me know how it tastes.