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Grenadian Food: 10 Must Try Dishes of Grenada

Grenadian Food: 10 Must Try Dishes of Grenada

Grenada is located at the end of the Caribbean arc. It is not the same as the Grenadines that make up the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines though its close by at just under 100 miles away. Grenada is otherwise known as the spice isle. It is made up of three islands, the main one being Grenada itself, Petite Martinique and Carriacou.

Grenada is a large producer and exporter of spices like nutmeg, cloves and ginger to name a few. One of its largest attractions is an underwater sculpture park which can be viewed only via snorkeling or diving. It also has several volcanoes, the most well-known is Kick em Jenny which happens to be located underwater and also quite active.

Three languages are spoken, English, Creole derived from English and another Creole or Patois derived from French. The French and British influences come from switching colonialism between France and Great Britain as the two countries battled for ownership of several Caribbean Islands. Great Britain ultimately won most of those battles.

Most Popular Grenadian Dishes

Naturally, being known as the spices isle means many dishes are richly spiced. The cuisine features many rich stews and soups, seafood and one of a kind treats such as nutmeg ice cream. Grenadian cuisine is influenced by West African, British and French.

Staple foods are grown locally such as plantains, coconut, spices, ground provisions and breadfruit. Most meat and all seafood is locally sourced. Seafood is particularly popular not only because it is an island but because most of Grenada’s citizens live around the islands coast line. Grenadian food is also influenced by the nearby island of Trinidad. The two islands share a long friendly history and Grenada has adopted dishes like roti and pelau as their own.

Crab Back

Crab back is a dish of stuffed crabs. Like many tropical places, there are ocean crabs and land crabs. This dish utilizes ground crabs which can be found in moist muddy areas. The meat is removed from the crab and cooked with spices and herbs. It’s then stuffed back into the crab shell then baked. Crab back can be found in restaurants and sold as street food.


Photo credit: Shivonne Du Barry on Wikipedia

Callaloo is a dish made from the leafy greens of the taro plant which is better known as dasheen in the Caribbean. The appearance of callaloo varies between the islands. Grenadian callaloo is a soup which also contains vegetables, dumplings, seasonings, meat or fish.

Cou Cou

Cou Cou

Cou Cou is a dish made from cornmeal. The cornmeal is cooked with light seasoning. It’s very similar to polenta. It can sometimes contain coconut milk. Grenadian cou cou is made soft or very firm. The very firm version is sliced and fried. Cou cou is eaten with fish or thick callaloo.

Oil Down

Oil Down

Oil down is a rich stew consisting of vegetables, breadfruit, root vegetables, meat, flour dumplings and coconut milk. The name is believed to be a reference to the oils extracted from the meat and coconut milk during the cooking process. This dish is served for lunch or dinner. Unlike oil down from the island of Trinidad, Grenadian oil down does not usually contain hot peppers.


Pelau is a mixed rice dish. Besides rice it contains, peas, vegetables, meat, brown sugar and coconut milk. The meat is usually chicken which is browned using deeply caramelized brown sugar. The chicken is stewed before adding raw, rinsed rice. They are both cooked until the chicken loses its stewing liquid. Pelau is often served with salad. There are many Trinidadians living in Grenada and likewise Grenadians who live in Trinidad. Pelau is one of several foods introduced to Grenada by its Trinidadian community.

Stinking Toe Fruit

Stinking toe fruit

Stinking Toe Fruit, also known as locust fruit or jatobá, is the fruit of the West Indian Locust, the largest tree in the Caribbean. It is known as Stinking Toe Fruit as its shape is similar to a big toe and its pungent smell is like a sweaty foot.

The fruit’s texture is mainly dry and dense, and it is sweet in taste. The fruit is said to remind people of powdered sugar and dried milk, with a touch of herbs and some parmesan cheese.


Roti is a dish of stewed, curried meat and vegetables which are wrapped in a cooked wheat flour shell. The meat can be chicken, lamb or goat. Typical vegetables include carrot and potatoes. It is eaten as is or served with a salad. Roti is of Indian origin but Grenadian roti shell tends to be thicker than roti found in its Trinidadian counterpart.

Nutmeg Ice Cream

Grenadian nutmeg is made using eggs, cream, vanilla and a generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg. The mixture is cooked first before processing in an ice cream maker. Traditional nutmeg ice cream was made with custard powder and condensed milk and was cooked using a coal pot, a traditional clay cooking pot with open flame that preceded the modern stove in the Caribbean.


Cracked Conch

Lambi is conch (the seasnail). It’s cooked a variety of ways but usually starts with the meat being washed in citrus juice then processed in a pressure cooker to tenderize it. Alternatively it can also be tenderized by cutting into tiny pieces and boiled or pounded. The tenderized meat is then grilled, fried or used to make soup.

One such soup is known as souse. A souse is a clear broth which contains vegetables and seasonings. The type of conch used is queen conch which is banned in the US but abundant and legal to eat in the Caribbean.

Goat Stew

Goat stew is dish made with various cuts of goat meat, cooked until tender with vegetables and seasonings. It can be made with or without curry though once containing curry is called curry goat to differentiate the two. While Grenadian goat stew isn’t necessarily spicy, it is heavily spiced, containing ingredients like ginger and even cloves.

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