top of page

5 Foodie Things to Buy from Saint Lucia

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

As I have written in my post about food in St Lucia, this island is a little spot in the Caribbean Sea where life revolves slowly around food and drink. Eating locally sourced food and drinking fresh fruit juices and rum are part of nearly every social activity. And despite the island nation not scoring high on the world food league (like its neighbouring rivals Jamaica and Mexico for example), food in St Lucia can be surprisingly delicious and authentic, especially if you love the combination of spices, fresh herbs and seafood.


So if St Lucia is on your bucket list, and you are a foodie traveller looking for some nice things to bring back home, I got you covered. Here is a list of my favourite 5 gifts that I believe are absolutely worth buying from the island; they are so fascinating and unique that you will be looking forward to coming back with these little treasures. Plus, some tips on where to buy them cheaper. Now that I am thinking about it, I had regrets not buying more. Anyone heading there anytime soon, I may need to hand you a list of things I need ;-)


1. Rum

Saint Lucia Rums photo
Saint Lucian Rums

The Caribbean is famous for its good rums, and St. Lucia is no exception, scoring high in the league. The island offers some of the most EXCEPTIONAL rums in the area, if not the world! Having tried all Caribbean commercial rums massively exported to Europe and UK (Havana Club, Bacardi, Mount Gay, Captain Morgan just some to mention) it was only until I tasted Saint Lucian rums that my appetite for good rums skyrocketed.

What to buy: If you are looking to buy something special for you or your loved ones, look for Chairman’s Reserve (especially the spiced one) and Admiral Rodney brands. If you are aiming for just a good white rum to make cocktails, the most popular is Bounty, which is also the cheapest and best value for money. My suggestion is to get at least one bottle of white to make Saint Lucian rum punch for your friends (recipe below).

Where to buy: St. Lucia Distillers is the best place to truly experience the local rum. Located in the Roseau Valley, near Castries, this distillery offers multiple different brands including white and dark rums and liqueurs for tasting. There is also a small shop, which is the cheapest place to buy rum on the island. It is even cheaper than duty-free, so I suggest filling your luggage allowance from this distillery (here are the allowances for the UK). Now imagine yourself sitting on that comfy lounge chair in your garden, sipping this ultra-tropical cocktail on a warm summer night!


How Much Rum can I bring back from St Lucia?
If you are returning to the UK, you are allowed to bring back 4 litres of spirits according to gov.uk travel abroad regulation. For the US is a bit more strict and only 2 litres of alcohol are only allowed in according to the US Customs regulation.


St. Lucian Rum Punch recipe (2 servings)

Ingredients

150ml white rum 200ml tropical fruit juice (I use this one)

50ml strawberry based juice (I like this one) or grenadine

3-4 dashes of angostura bitters

2 small gratings of nutmeg

Method

1. Combine all ingredients with some ice in a cocktail shaker and mix. 2. Serve chilled with ice with a slice of pineapple or lime.

St. Lucian rum punch recipe
St. Lucian Rum Punch

Don't own a cocktail bar set yet? Check below a nice and neat Mixology Bartender Kit with stand for your summer cocktails! Ran out of Chairman reserve spiced rum? Luckily, Amazon imports this delicious rum so we can buy in the UK!

(Deactivate your ad-blocker to see the links below)






2. Coconut Coffee

What to buy from Saint Lucia

This is indeed something unique, an item not sold by Amazon (!) and hard to find even in the biggest Caribbean grocery stores in the UK. It might be not 100% Saint Lucian (the producing company is based in Trinidad & Tobago) but it is simply fascinating. Coffee lovers, don't miss this amazingly fragranced coffee powder, there's nothing like waking up to the smell of areshly brewed coconutty coffee!

Where to buy: this is going to be hard to find. Some supermarkets sell it, but not all. I expect that the island's large Massy stores in Castries or Rodney Bay will have it in stock. If not, head for the Crazy Al's Beach Shack in Rodney Bay which holds a huge collection of foodie souvenirs, although a little more expensive than anywhere else.



3. Banana Ketchup

Baron's banana ketchup
Baron's Banana Ketchup

Dear reader, pay attention: this is ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ON THIS ISLAND, if not on this planet. The most popular St Lucian brand is "Baron" and is widely available in supermarkets across the island. It is also sold in street markets and other souvenir shops, but you better aim for a big supermarket (Massy stores is the local chain) which has great variety and reasonable prices. For those with no luggage allowance, the good news is that you can order it from Amazon at a relatively good price, slightly more expensive than buying from the island if you buy a multi-pack.

And while just about everything is topped with the famous West Indian hot sauce (chicken, pork, burgers and fries), Baron's Banana ketchup appears as a guest star on the sidelines, mainly seen as a dip for fried plantain or as a dressing in salads, wraps and marinades. In my kitchen, I use it as a dip for crisps and fries, but also as a condiment for my fish tacos or as a dressing for bright summery tropical salads and salsas. Here's my favourite recipe with Baron's banana ketchup vinaigrette so you can start drooling:

Tropical mango salad photo
My favourite tropical salad with Banana Vinaigrette

Mango Salad with Banana Vinaigrette Recipe

Salad

1 Lettuce

1 ripe mango

1 large tomato

1 avocado

1 small bunch fresh coriander

1 spring onion

Vinaigrette

Method



4. Spices

Nutmeg photography, photo of nutmeg

The first thing you will be thinking looking at the abundance of spices being sold on the island is "why on earth should I bother bringing spices back home when I can find just about everything at my local supermarket?"

Well, I have 3 good reasons why you should bother:

  1. Fresh and super fragrant: spices are locally produced and most of them are sold whole in the markets. There's no chemical process involved nor have been grounded to powders. My suggestion is to get at least a bag of nutmeg back with you. Not only do you need it for your rum punch, but there is also a great variety of Mediterranean recipes spiced with nutmeg that you should be trying (see nutmeg recipes here). Nutmeg is sold in its fancy shell, the mace, which you can break with the back of a knife. The mace keeps the seed fresh for years to come. Nothing compared to the mace-less naked nutmeg seeds sold in supermarkets.

  2. Great value for money: At the price of around $5 St. Lucian dollars (around £1.50) you are getting a bag of 10-15 nutmegs or a bunch of giant cinnamon sticks from the farmer's market in Castries or Soufriere. It's a no brainer.

  3. It makes a great gift: nutmeg in its mace or huge cinnamon sticks is something that will definitely put a smile on your foodie friends' faces.



5. Woven Utensils

St. Lucian hand woven placemat made of dry palm leaves
St. Lucian hand woven placemat made of dry palm leaves

Some great local artists live and work in St. Lucia. Most of them are freelancers, wandering around tourist resorts and markets, but not all of them sell authentic. There is a lot of junk being sold as "hand made" so beware of imitations. There is however one place that you can visit if you are seeking good quality authentic and hand made products like utensils and tableware, the quarter of Choiseul. It is the artisanal arts & crafts centre of St. Lucia in the south of the island (a 30 min spectacular drive from Soufriere). Shops are scattered all over the place along the road, selling crafts made on the island by local artists. One of the most amazing shops I visited in Choisel was the 'Choiseul Art Gallery'. A vibrant coloured colonial-style house that has been converted into a gallery. It offers unique, stylish and handmade woven goods, palm crafts, wood carvings and calabash utensils. Calabash is considered St.Lucia's national fruit and St.Lucians use the dried shell of the fruit to make musical instruments, bowls and other utensils which look really cool and exotic.


You can always combine Choisel with a visit to Laborie and lunch at Mama Tilly's ;-)



Get a SIM with Mobile Data for Saint Lucia

I always like having at least a couple of giga of mobile data on my phone for emergencies, accurate navigation and reading restaurant reviews without the cost of an arm and a leg. To avoid paying hefty bills for roaming, which especially in the Caribbean is so expensive, I recommend trying this new, revolutionary technology of eSIM.

So if your phone supports eSIM (google it to check first) why not try an eSIM data package before you arrive from pioneer telecom provider Airalo? 👈Click my affiliate link and search "Caribbean Islands" if you are up for island hopping or "Saint Lucia" if you only plan to stay in St Lucia, and browse and choose from the available eSIM packages.


525 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page