U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS UPDATE
Current Press Release for
November 9, 1998
Call 1-800-372-USVI for more information.
Dining on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas: USVI Offers Exquisite Local and International Cuisine
UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS – Visitors to the United States Virgin Islands will be pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of dining options available on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Experienced worldwide travelers consider the USVI a “dining paradise,” where days are spent basking under a golden sun and evenings are spent feasting on sumptuous island delicacies prepared with an international flair. Restaurants on all three islands have developed loyal followings among travelers who have sampled the diverse mix of local and international cuisines served throughout the territory.
The picturesque beauty and year-round warm climate of the USVI continually draws internationally trained chefs to its shores, creating a wealth of talent in commercial kitchens on all three islands. Many hotels and resorts have lured these skilled culinary magicians into their kitchens, resulting in the creation of a medley of memorable and exquisite hotel dining rooms and seaside restaurants throughout St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.
Often the most difficult issue facing vacationers in the USVI is how to choose from among the islands´ eclectic array of quality restaurants. “Fusion” cuisine, which combines the latest cooking trends from around the world, has found its place on menus at many exciting eateries. French, Mexican, Chinese, Pacific Rim and Italian add to the mix of ethnic fare available, and American favorites can be found on many menus as well. Not surprisingly, many restaurants rely on the islands´ surrounding waters to please their patrons´ palates. Caribbean lobster, wahoo, grouper, mahi-mahi, tuna and other daily catches from the sea are staple menu items at restaurants ranging from casual family cafes to the latest eateries brimming with style and innovation. However, vacationers can´t say they have truly experienced island cuisine until they have sampled the West Indian specialties for which the USVI is renowned. Chefs accent their signature dishes with the homegrown flavors of local ingredients, such as bay rum leaves, tarrow, passion fruit and lemongrass, used for centuries by the West Indian, European and African peoples who settled in the territory. “Fungi,” a cornmeal-based side dish, and “kallaloo,” a soup made from okra, spinach and fish, guarantee a taste of local flavor. Sweet-potato pudding, fried “johnnycake” bread, plantains, peas and rice, curried chicken and “old wife” fish are among the most popular island dishes. No visitor to the USVI should leave without first sampling the conch fritters, a batter-fried delicacy headlining many island menus.
Many of the territory´s unique gift shops and boutiques offer specially packaged rum balls, calendars and cookbooks featuring recipes for local West Indian specialties so visitors can bring a taste of the Virgin Islands home with them. Additionally, local liquors such as Cruzan rum, made on St. Croix, are a great souvenir of time spent in the USVI.
Travelers spending limited time in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas shouldn´t worry if they find themselves unable to sample the entire realm of spirited restaurants that populate the islands. Missing a few provides the perfect excuse for a return visit to this tropical American paradise.
To learn more about the United States Virgin Islands, call (800) 372-USVI.