Guadeloupe Festival of Flavours Week
Saint-François, October 15, 2019
Theme: The Creole garden
" A real discovery for youngsters and adults, who were all won over "

For decades, during the Festival of Flavours Week, Bailli Délégué of Guadeloupe Richard Chaville was keen to offer primary school children the chance to discover or rediscover local products and agro-processing methods. He was assisted in this initiative by a committee made up of some ten members of the Bailliage, coordinated by Chargé de Missions Joseph Judith.

Guadeloupe boasts a unique culinary heritage influenced by the various groups that have populated the island, bringing flavours from the Caribbean, Africa, India and France, among others.

The Creole garden, once the equivalent of a well-stocked larder, has almost disappeared in Guadeloupe. Small quantities of all kinds of fruits and vegetables destined for personal consumption could be grown in a space varying in size. This is where tubers such as potatoes, yams, cassava, taro, cush-cush, air potatoes and malanga could be found.

Pulses like catjang, butter beans, pigeon peas, hyacinth beans and avelka peas would also all be planted in a Creole garden.

A few banana trees, a guava tree and a sapodilla tree offered plenty of seasonal fruit.

These days, all of these can be bought from the supermarket and the consequences are serious, including poor diet, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Forgotten or little-known local vegetables...

The 2019 edition of the Festival was dedicated to the malanga, a tuber harvested in April. Families in Guadeloupe spoilt their children during the Easter holidays and custom dictates that Good Friday should be all about enjoying delicious accras (fritters) made of malanga and Turban squash.

This forgotten or little-known local vegetable was lovingly cooked by the country’s chefs and served up in mash, pastries and crisps. A real discovery for youngsters and adults, who were all won over.

…and a brief note about chilli

Committed to upholding tradition, the Bailli Délégué made it virtually compulsory for chilli to be presented by the Bailliage’s committee of the “Festival of Flavours Week”.

Once inescapable in Guadeloupe’s culinary creations, chilli went out of favour in the 1970s. The opening of big hotels meant that spicy dishes had to be adapted to suit tourists’ palates. Hot boudin, “colombo de cabri” (goat curry) and “court-bouillon de poisson” (fish broth) have lost their spice!

Grown-ups and children alike were surprised to discover this antioxidant packed with vitamins and trace elements.

This year, two schools in Saint-François responded to the challenge: the École Joseph Judith and the École des Raisins-Clairs. Around 250 pupils were given the opportunity to enjoy these fantastic days.

Six workshops run by members of the Guadeloupe Bailliage welcomed the children:
- Sweet/savoury workshop
- Sour/bitter workshop
- “Creole garden” workshop
- Exhibition entitled “fruit mountain”
- Spice workshop
- Tasting workshops

Micheline Mounsamy
Chancelier