Lexicon - Martinique Gourmande


An anthology of selected words revealing the origins of Martinican cuisine


A small fritter made with cod, shrimp, or vegetables, typically served as an appetizer alongside a Ti-Punch.


A traditional dish usually made with fish cooked in a court-bouillon sauce. Pairs well with a Ti-Punch served with ice.

Blanc Mangé Coco

Coconut flan.

Boudin créole

A version of traditional blood sausage made with spices including allspice, clove, and chili pepper. Usually served at Christmas or as an appetizer.

Bwadenn (bois d’inde)

The allspice tree, whose leaves are used for seasoning, like bay leaves.

Bwa Lélé (bois lélé)

A swizzle stick made from a branch of the bois lélé tree, used for stirring the Ti-Punch and other cocktails.


A traditional peasant soup made with a mix of herbs known as herbages (purslane, spinach, taro leaves, okra, and French thyme). Those who prefer a more decadent soup may add pork or crab.


A curry powder made up of Indian spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, clove, mustard seed, and fennel. Used to prepare the dish of the same name.


A calabash cut in half and used as a vessel by indigenous Caribbeans.

Crabe farci

Crab shell stuffed with crab meat and Caribbean spices.


Octopus stew.


Another name for the chayote, a pear-shaped fruit in the gourd family served as a vegetable, prepared either as a purée, gratin, or salad.

Dékolaj’ (décollage)

A small glass of rum enjoyed first thing in the morning to start the day off right.


A sugary confection made with sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk.

Féwoss (féroce)

An appetizer made with cod, avocado, cassava flour, chili pepper, and diced onion. The term féroce (fierce) refers to the strength of the chili that spices up the dish.


A type of squash, typically used to make a creamy soup.

Kassav (cassave)

A crêpe-like pancake made with cassava flour.


A conch, a large sea snail popular in Caribbean cuisine and usually served grilled or stewed.

Macawons (macarons)

A cookie made with shredded coconut.


A sweet drink made with the leaves of lemon, mandarin, and orange trees, perfect for sipping on hot days.


A fritter made of grated vegetables including carrot and cabbage, traditionally served at Easter.


A traditional dish made with land crab and spices (especially colombo), usually enjoyed at Easter or Pentecost.


A dish made with breadfruit and salted pork.


A meat and vegetable soup popular in Martinique and traditionally served during the holidays.

Sauce chien

A sauce made of green and white onion, parsley, and chili pepper, served alongside grilled meat or fish. It gets its name from the traditional French knife used to slice the ingredients.


A Martinican liqueur made with orange peel, cane sugar, white rhum agricole, and vanilla bean. Traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas season.


Shaved ice flavoured with grenadine, mint, or orgeat syrup. The dessert’s name comes from the English word snowball.

Soupe Z’Habitant

A variation of calalou soup with crayfish added.

Ti nain lan mori (Ti nain et morue)

A traditional dish made of cooked green bananas and salted cod, eaten at breakfast or dinner.

Trempaj’ (trempage)

A traditional dish from Martinique’s northern Atlantic coast. Cod court-bouillon is thickened with flour and mixed with pre-soaked stale bread; the mixture is then spread out on large banana leaves and garnished with pieces of avocado and banana and covered in a spicy sauce. The dish can also be made with seafood, other types of fish, conch, or chicken. It’s traditionally eaten with the hands.

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