St. Kitts & Nevis Salt Fish and Dumplings: A Guide

Last updated on June 4th, 2024 at 08:23 am

As Remitly celebrates the traditional foods of our global customers, we’re taking a trip to the vibrant dual-island country of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Discover their national dish of seasoned breadfruit, stewed saltfish, coconut dumplings, and spicy plantains, each a reflection of their rich Caribbean culture.

Salt Fish and Dumplings, St. Kitts and Nevis-style

Salt fish and dumplings is the classic combination in St. Kitts and Nevis, as they are in some other island nations. This recipe takes into account the traditional method for preparing the salt fish, coconut dumplings, and plaintain and breadfruit sides.

Stewed Saltfish:
1. Soak saltfish in fresh water overnight, allowing the codfish to flake easily.
2. Sauté a small onion, green pepper, scallions, garlic cloves, chili pepper, and red bell pepper in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat until golden brown.
3. Add flaked codfish, a tablespoon of parsley, fresh thyme leaves, black pepper, ground pepper, and hot sauce.
4. Pour in chicken broth and a cup of water, let it simmer until tender.

Seasoned Breadfruit & Spicy Plantains:
1. Fry sweet potato and breadfruit slices in batches in a tablespoon of vegetable oil until golden brown.
2. For the plantains, heat oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.
3. Season with a teaspoon of salt, fresh parsley, and chopped spring onions.

Coconut Dumplings:
1. Create stiff dough using unsalted butter and fresh water.
2. Shape the dough into the desired shape and cook in boiling water.

Achieving Authenticity

Enhance the dish with Jamaican ackee and goat water for a more traditional taste. Use a tablespoon of margarine and fresh ginger for sautéing. Drain the fish, plantains, and breadfruit on paper towels to maintain crispiness.

The Culture of St. Kitts and Nevis

Officially known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis is a charming dual-island country nestled in the West Indies.

With a diverse demographic tapestry blending African, British, French, and Caribbean heritage, the islands boast a rich culture deeply interwoven with colonial legacies, African roots, and indigenous Carib influences. This eclectic heritage is visible not only in local festivals, music, and dance but also in everyday life, offering a cultural richness uniquely Kittitian and Nevisian.

A Culinary Mosaic

In St. Kitts and Nevis, the cuisine is a hearty mix of African, British, Caribbean and Creole flavors, utilizing locally available ingredients such as fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and root vegetables.

Seafood, including locally caught fish, lobster, and conch, is a staple, often grilled, fried, or stewed with a medley of spices and served alongside root vegetables, rice, or dumplings.

Island Flavors

The islands are abundant in tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and papayas, adding a sweet and tangy flavor profile to various dishes. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, along with hot sauces and pepper-infused condiments, are also popular, elevating the overall dining experience.

Rooted in Tradition

Root vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, and cassava form the basis of many dishes, often boiled, mashed, or fried and paired with flavorful stews and grilled meats, reflecting the islands’ agricultural heritage.

Sweet Sensations

Traditional sweets like coconut cakes, guava cheese, and tamarind balls offer a sweet end to a meal, beloved by both locals and visitors.

Savoring Every Bite

Dining in St. Kitts and Nevis is about more than just eating; it’s about savoring every bite, embracing the community, and experiencing the islands’ heritage, reflecting the warm and hospitable nature of the Kittitian and Nevisian people.

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