A visit to the Saint-Antoine market in Pointe-à-Pitre, a listed historic monument, offers an evocative journey into the world of Creole flavours and aromas.
Also known as the spice market, it is housed in an open market hall renovated in 2006 which bears witness to the vogue for metallic architecture at the end of the 19th century.
Dressed in their ample dresses and madras headscarves, the welcoming “doudous” will call out to you as soon as you arrive to make you stop and enjoy the scent of cinnamon and vanilla and to extol the virtues of “bois bandé” (potency wood), a tree reputed to be an effective aphrodisiac. While you’re tasting a home-made rum punch, why not chat with one of the market’s vivacious and eloquent stallholders – you never know, they might even agree to give you a recipe for a typical Creole dish!
Alongside the myriad sweet and savoury spices on display, flowers, Creole dolls, baskets and other local crafts will fight for your attention in this bustling scene.
Open Monday to Saturday, 6am to 3pm. Between Rue Peynier and Rue Frebault, 97110 Pointe-à-Pitre.