In Grenada, the smell of nutmeg lingers in the air as you explore idyllic white sand beaches, lush plantations, and colonial history. This popular cruise destination is known as the Spice Island, with a wealth of unique dishes that thrill the taste buds of food aficionados from across the globe.
Throughout the island, spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaf, clove, turmeric, thyme, and lemongrass grow in abundance. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful, with young coconuts, sweet potatoes, mangoes and breadfruit adding flavor and nutrition to local dishes.
From fiery stews to succulent, fresh seafood and delicious desserts to tempt your sweet tooth, here’s what to eat in Grenada.
1. Oil Down
Oil down is Grenada’s national dish, so pop it at the top of your list of foods to try. The iconic, one-pot stew is a staple for locals, featured at festivals, parties, and gatherings within the community. It’s a simple, comforting dish that’s packed full of flavor with salted meat, chicken or fish, dumplings, coconut milk, turmeric, vegetables, and breadfruit as the main ingredients.
2. Fried Bake and Saltfish
When it’s breakfast time in Grenada, it’s time for fried bake. Bakes are a type of bread that’s fried until golden brown. You can choose from an array of side dishes, such as cheese or sausage; however, saltfish fried with tomato, onion, and herbs are among the most popular.
3. Lambie Souse
Dining on delicious, fresh seafood is one of the best things to do when you cruise to Grenada, and a local favorite is lambie souse. Lambie is the name for conch, and it’s the star ingredient of this particular dish. Conch is tenderized and slowly cooked with a mixture of lime juice, onion, garlic and hot pepper, to create a soupy, seafood meal that’s also a fantastic source of protein.
4. Callaloo Soup
The dasheen leaf is an ingredient found throughout the Caribbean, and it’s used to make callaloo soup, which is a fixture of Grenada’s food menus. The leafy green soup boasts a creamy texture, thanks to the coconut milk, and it’s great as a starter or a quick snack at any time of day.
Pelau is a hearty chicken and rice dish that’s perfect for satisfying your hunger pangs after a fun day of sightseeing and shopping in Grenada. This savory, one-pot meal typically includes cooked beans, carrots, celery, red sweet peppers, brown sugar, and coconut milk.
As a melting pot of cultures, you’ll find plenty of French, Spanish, African, and Indian-influenced cuisine when you cruise to Grenada, with Caribbean spices adding a tasty twist. Made with wheat flour bread that’s stuffed with curry meat, fish, or vegetables, roti is a mouthwatering takeaway snack you’ll find throughout your explorations.
7. Crab Back
Land crabs are plentiful in Grenada and offer a taste similar to those found in the sea. In restaurants, they’re used for a dish called crab back and prepared with a mix of local spices and lime juice, then served inside the shell with crispy, baked breadcrumbs on top.
8. Curry Goat
Grenadian-style curry goat uses locally grown herbs and spices for a unique spin on the popular Caribbean dish. Seasoned goat is browned in sugar and slowly cooked with onions, garlic, hot pepper, and curry powder. It’s served with rice and toppings such as lime pickle, for a rich burst of flavor.
9. Nutmeg Ice Cream
Grenada is one of the world’s largest importers of nutmeg, and the aromatic spice is used in an array of local dishes. What better way to enjoy it than by eating a refreshing nutmeg ice cream by the sea? The velvety treat makes use of freshly ground nutmeg and heavy cream for the ultimate island dessert.
10. Sweet Potato Pudding
Sweet potato isn’t the first ingredient that comes to mind when you’re considering desserts; however, it’s certainly a healthy alternative! Sweet potato pudding, made with grated coconut, cinnamon, milk, sugar and, of course, nutmeg, is a Grenadian treat not to be missed.
11. Grenadian Fudge
When you’re souvenir shopping in Grenada, fudge might just be the perfect gift to take home for your friends and family. With a blend of Grenadian ginger, nutmeg or coconut, and dark chocolate, be sure to buy enough because chances are you’ll eat some before you get home!
12. Cocoa Balls
Another bite-sized dessert you can take home to remind you of your Grenada cruise, is a packet of cocoa balls. Cocoa plantations across the island ensure that chocolate is of the highest quality. These small, round treats are enhanced with cinnamon, thyme and bay leaf.
13. Cocoa Tea
If you love hot chocolate, you’ll adore cocoa tea in Grenada. It’s made with cocoa balls, water, and milk, so order a cup while you’re enjoying a restaurant meal or buy some extra packets of cocoa balls to make your own at home.
A cruise to Grenada gives you a special opportunity to try foods spliced with the intense flavor of locally grown spices and fresh produce. Along with pristine beaches, balmy breezes, and vibrant culture, this truly makes Grenada an island vacation dream come true.