The Fish Fry

by Jo Kenny

The Lucians really like their fish. Every Friday night without fail, locals in a little fishing town called Anse La Raye set up stalls and grills and tables in their streets and serve up every type of fish imaginable to hungry locals and tourists.

St Lucia Anse La Raye fish fry

Anse La Raye fish fry St Lucia

Go early, grab a drink from one of the cool boxes and watch the sun set on the beach.

Fruta St Lucia Fish fry

Can you get Fruta in the UK? It’s damn good and I’ve never seen it before!

Yum Dim Sum Anse La Raye St Lucia

Anse La Raye St Lucia Fish Fry beach

The atmosphere is very chilled out to begin with. It’s a very tight knit little community but they’re all incredibly friendly so try not to feel like you’ve turned up to a private party. Bus loads of tourists arrive after dark anyway, so pick a table and get your food order in quick!

I recommend the red snapper grilled to juicy perfection on the BBQ in little foil packets.

Anse La Raye red snapper BBQ fish fry

You can pick from a dozen fish mains which involve the good, the weird and the downright ugly. Lucians eat a lot of fish (and parts of the fish) we’ve never even considered before, so go with an open mind! Whatever you choose, it’ll come to your table accompanied by home made macaroni cheese, green banana salad, plantain, bakes and rice.

Fish Anse La Raye fish fry St Lucia

Garlic prawns fish fry Anse La Raye St Lucia

None of us could resist the garlic prawns, they were huge and meaty, I definitely recommend them! Having tried and enjoyed the safe stuff, I was curious about the rest of the fish they were offering up. I mean, fish guts sounded totally gross, but if the locals love it, it has to be delicious, right? I asked for a plate of everything I hadn’t tried…

Fish fry Anse La Raye St Lucia

Starting with the mussels and going clockwise, we have fish eggs still attached to the various organs. The organs themselves had a nice calamari texture and were pretty tasty, but the eggs were like hard, curdled milk. Then there’s stewed conch & fish guts, which was actually delicious! I could easily have gone for seconds. That shell has a giant whelk hiding away. You know in Alien when the baby one bursts out of the man’s chest? Yea, it looks like that. It took a lot of guts (and a few more mouthfuls of fish guts) to get the courage to try this, and it turned out to be very unremarkable, a lot like liver. The crab shell was stuffed with crab meat and more raw garlic than I would consider edible; very tasty but certainly not one to try around a date! Finally something the locals called ‘black fish’. Apparently this animal lived in the sea but you’d never guess it: extremely dark meat with the texture of mutton. Bizarre stuff!

When you’re done exploring the local cuisine, check out the other stalls for a drink. Along with the branded stuff, the locals in Anse La Raye like to brew up their own spiced rum. You’ll see it in big glass jars stuffed with various sticks and leaves.

Spiced rum Anse La Raye fish fry St Lucia

Spiced rum Anse La Raye St Lucia

It packs a serious punch, the base of the drink is the local 80% rum! Personally I thought it tasted like cough syrup, so I stuck to delicious home made rum punch instead.

Anse La Raye red snapper BBQ fish fry street party

As evening turns into the night the town picks up more of a party atmosphere, with music blasting from speakers and the local village idiots (there’s two of them) trying to out-crazy each other on the dance floor whilst dragging tourists to come join them! Avoid eye contact if you don’t want to get involved!

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