Sun-drenched flavours of French Guiana

Visitors to Guiana should not miss out on trying the chicken or fish boucané (smoked), a dish inherited by pirates, which today has many different variations.

Nearly 400 years as a European, African, Indian and Amerindian cultural melting pot has given French Guiana’s cuisine inspiration, originality, and passion, with a wide range of tastes and spices. Indeed, spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, pepper and hot pepper are everywhere.

Some typical dishes are blaff (onions, garlic, celery and basil broth), pimentade (tomato sauce broth) or roast cougnade (grilled fish). Bountiful waters also offer a wide variety of fish and shrimp, which are prepared in marinades or on skewers.

Fricassés are also a French Guiana specialiti. These stews are delicious accompanied by generous helpings of rice and red beans.

Last but not least, be sure to savour the awara broth. The awara is a palm tree, and the pulp of its fruit is used to make a stew containing chicken and fish boucanés. This ‘National’ dish is eaten during the Easter and Pentecost celebrations and is a symbol of hospitality for special guests.

The best way to immerse yourself in Guyanese culture is to wander through the fruit and vegetable markets of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni or Cayenne.