Eating Local and Cheap in the Caribbean – Grenada
Caribbean living has always been my dream. Not for one minute did I think I'd achieve it before I was 30. I expected to have to work hard, make pots of money and then retire to my dream villa. Fortunately, I made it just before my 30th birthday; I even celebrated it on the island of Grenada in the West Indies. We don't live here yet; in fact, we don't live anywhere. We're LIPs (Location Independent Professionals – a new term I'm popluarising!); we travel the world, earning money as long as we have internet connection.
The Caribbean is where I love. You might think it's expensive – those images of luxury villas, posh clubs and restaurants, with balmy evenings spent sipping cocktails and parading whilst you dine on lobster and shrimp. Actually, it's not, unless you want it to be. We celebrated at a posh restaurant; fillet and a bottle of Bollinger. It doesn't have to be that way, though. You can live here (and enjoy your food) on less than U.S. $25.00 a day – for two.
Breakfast is easy. Go to the market in St. George's and find the man who makes a fried fish sandwich with all the trimmings for EC$2.00 – that's less than U.S.$1.00. Down the road, stop at a fruit and vegetable stall; they make fresh, young coconut drinks. Scoop out the delicious flesh. That'll set you back about EC$3.00.
For lunch, grab a roti; a local West Indian dish. It's a flat bread stuffed with curried meat (boneless chicken is best) and curried potatoes – delicious and filling.
The best place is the Southside Bar; at the roundabout near Grand Anse Beach (with the Carlsberg sign). A boneless chicken roti costs EC$12.00, about U.S.$4.00. Wash it down with another coconut or water nut, as they call them here.
Dinner is another easy meal although you need to eat relatively early for this (open until 6:00 p.m.). Just pass the Spiceland Mall, on Grand Anse Beach, the local "cookpot" ladies cook up all sorts of delicious local foods in huge cookpots. They sell a plate of everything for around EC$15.00 (about US$5.00). A typical plate includes your choice of chicken, fried or stewed fish, curried goat, beef, a serving of macaroni pie, rice and peas, some potato salad and a small portion of green salad – another delicious and satisfying meal. There are other choices, but the plates of local food are the best – they really know how to get the most out of the ingredients.
There are numerous snacks should the above not be enough: from local, organic fruits such as mangoes, bananas, pineapples, starfruit and a strange one called "chin ups" (like sweets) to fresh, young coconuts (I'm addicted to these, as you can probably tell).
There is also coconut fudge (made on the island and sold in packs of four squares for EC$1.00). The local, organic chocolate, handmade in a solar-powered factory on the island, is dark and has won awards.
Eating local in Grenada is affordable, delicious, nutritious and fun. There are many choices; you just have to know where to look.