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Fat Guy

Best Food in Caribbean

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Jamaica, hands down! I had some of the best lobster ever with the food critic of the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper Rosemary Parkinson at a shack in Negril called 3 dives....very simple stuff, pluck em out of the sea, split em, grill em and cover em in garlic butter...served with rice and beans and a nice view of the ocean.....20 bucks for 3 lobsters! On the other side of the coin I have also had a wonderfull couple of meals at Julia's high up in the hills of Montego Bay. Full on formal with white jackets on the staff and service on the veranda, with the most amazing view!....Damn, its been 6 months and now I need to go back again!

My avatar is of me in the ocean in Negril

3 dives sounds great! My husband and I are visiting Negril next month and will check it out. Can you tell me whereabouts it is?

Any other good places in Negril? My parents go to Negril every year but are no help as they tend to go the cheap route and cook for themselves or pick up jerk from the roadside grills (not that there's anything wrong with that but we're hoping for a few romantic dinners...).

3 Dives is right next to the Rockhouse hotel on the cliffs. Its a shack....really...set back on a lot and is easy to miss. Go for sunset and grab a red stripe while your lobster grills. Kuyaba on 7 mile beach is also pretty nice and has some cool swinging bar chairs. You can get mom's patties at Country Country that are out of this world, but they just changed owners so I am not sure if they are still selling them. Rosemary Parkinson (gleaner food critic) told me that the best jerk is at the Ultimate Jerk Centre if you can get there.

Have a great trip and tell us about the food!


Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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Here's the deal.

Jamaica is about jerk. Essentially jerk is a rub or marinade made up of scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, ginger, scallion, garlic, salt and pepper. Individualism happens on top of this package. Jerk's highest incarnation is jerked pork. The cradle of jerkin' is Boston Bay near Port Antonio on the north east coast of Jamaica. Fiery hot (thanks to the scotch bonnet pepper), roasted for hours over pimento wood and sold by the 1/4 lb, this is hands down some of the best pork anyone will ever eat. If you've ever eaten jerk in the states, it's probably been a kind of stew. This isn't really jerk. Jerk is dry and slow cooked over fire.

A couple of other notes on Jamaicans. They seem to have been born knowing how to cook chicken. I've been down there many times and eaten chicken in a great number of places. It as always good and it is usually great. There's a guy named Gunny down at Boston Bay who makes chicken sausage. It's not to be missed.

Eat roasted red snapper. Make sure it's quite fesh. Jamaicans--the ones I know anyway--kind of believe in aging their fish.

Drink Red Stripe.

In September every year there's a jerk festival held out on the cricket pitch just outside downtown Port Antonio. I've not been. As I understand it, jerkers from all over the island come to ply their trade. They're jerkin' every animal they can get their hands on. Tens of thousands of Jamaicans attend. It sounds like great fun and some intrepid journalist had ought to do a piece on it.


You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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I lived in the Caribbean for five years, working as an Exe.Chef on three different islands. It was always a treat to make it to San Juan for a long weekend getaway, also for the great food. The Spanish

islands are my favorite, with a very strong african/spanish culinary tradition.

Alot of the best cooks in the spanish caribbean come from Dominican Republic, with their full flavored spicy dishes.

The Caribbean is a big Smorgasbord, with the very best food being cooked in the home, usually in one pot.

Barbados has the Ostens fish market, with fish steak, Roasted Breadfruit and Peas and rice. Good Soca Music and a Banks Beer, all under $8.00.

Also try Bajan chicken with Macaroni pie.

Jamaican curried conch, Trinidadian Roti, and ofcourse lobster on the beach.

I can go on.

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Does anyone have anything to say about the food on Provo (Turks & Caicos)?

Didn't get to Provo during our T & C trip. We were prisoners at Parrot Cay. The food (and service, and facilities) at Parrot Cay was deplorable. When the lunch catch of the day (for four days in a row) is salmon, eyebrows were raised. At least we bonded with the other guests, who were enjoying themselves as much as we were. My partner ordered a Bombay Sapphire and tonic, with lime. Every night. For seven nights. Every night, he received a different drink. By mid-week, the waiter would look at him and say (with dead seriousness), "Your usual?" OK, I admit we'd laugh after he left, and had a great anecdote at the pool the next day (we were desperate for fun, you see.) And have you seen that expedia.com commercial about the couple looking online at the resort which offers mosquito netting on the beds? That could have been filmed at Parrot Cay! I have a really bad taste in my mouth about T & C because of this dismal, overrated (why aren't writers afraid to write bad things about it?) "resort." But I read Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True that week and enjoyed it a lot - at least those characters knew from fun. :rolleyes:


Edited by gmi3804 (log)

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We’ve just returned from our fourth trip to Provo. First, a little about the island. There has been a tremendous amount of development in the last few years. The main highway of the island has recently been completed. There are million-dollar condos available, being built or planned along beautiful Grace Bay, described rightfully as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. There are no traffic lights, but lots of high-speed internet available as well as cell-phones. The people are extremely friendly; there seems like there is little racial undercurrent and you are not hustled by anyone trying to sell you things. Crime is very low. Much is likely attributable to history, economic well-being and political stability. Great resorts, but no “chain” hotels. Likely not to see any “chain” restaurants either. They are committed to development and progress, but with a strong attempt to include locals and preserve their culture. Big in offshore banking. Destination for great diving, snorkeling and fishing.

But to the food. Little is grown there, much is imported. Many excellent products are available in the local supermarkets, but expensive.

Our best bet has been our experience with the local. native cuisine. Fish was always excellent- conch, of course, is the main local dish. There is even a Conch Farm, which helps insure a good supply- interesting place to visit- seems to fit in with the SlowFood philosophy. We had it prepared any number of ways- conch salad, essentially a seviche, grilled, “cracked”- slices breaded and fried, jerk conch, conch “burgers”, fritters, even a spicy conch sushi, different variations on conch chowder, etc. Also excellent were local tuna, grouper and snapper- all in varying presentations- enough different styles of preparation never to get boring. They make a big deal out of the local Caribbean lobster, but with due respect, doesn’t compare with Maine lobster. There are a number of excellent local, native restaurants that offer great food at relatively modest prices. Our favorites: Bugaloo’s, Smokey’s on the Beach, Mackey’s Café, Hole in the Wall (excellent jerk dishes), Club Sodax, Bonnie’s and Go Fish! Excellent baby conch and good coffee at Barefoot Café in Ports of Call shopping plaza. Good sushi next to the IGA Market. Yoshi-san is from Tokyo; used to be the sushi chef at Beaches Resort, went out on his own. That’s where we had conch sushi, as well as some other decent local fish in nigiri or rolls.

“Fine dining” presents the usual challenge for the eGulleteer. Many of the higher end places change chefs, service can be casual, food can be expensive and I would venture that many people on this website would be presented with a dish and say “I can make this dish better, cheaper, less fatty, less salty, etc,” So what else is new? Wine lists tended to be disappointing- many of the restaurants seem to be stuck in old, boring California chardonnay/cabernet mold instead of more interesting, food-friendly selections. So what else is new? Not sure what the corkage situation is-didn’t ask. However, if you wanted some wine for back in the condo, or if you brought food in, we were able to get some very good wines, in different price ranges at some local wine shops as well as at the IGA/Graceway market. Think the grocery store had more turnover, better storage conditions than some of the restaurants.

However, on vacation, maybe you don’t want to, or cannot cook and you just want to go out for a nice enjoyable dinner with great ambience- many places are near or on the beachfront. We had good meals at Gecko Grille, Bay Bistro at Sibonne Resort. Seaside Café at Ocean Club West; nice lunch at Aqua Bar/Terrace in Turtle Cove. Magnolia Bar and Hemingway’s also good. We usually stick to island cuisine/fish. Why go to the Caribbean for steak, Italian or Asian cuisine (sushi excepted)?

Hope this helps. Looking forward to our next trip back. Any questions- post here or e-mail me. Sorry that Parrot Cay didn't work out- looked intriguing as we drove by on a boat trip. Went on a snorkelling, conch dive outing with one of the local boat tour companies. Possibly one of our more memorable culinary experiences was having the captain dive for conch, then within minutes make conch salad on the beach- diced it up after cleaning, some lime juice, peppers (green and red bell, little bit of Scotch Bonnet or Habanero), onion, S&P. Yum!

:biggrin:


Mark A. Bauman

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Roasted Breadfruit and Peas and rice. Good Soca Music and a Banks Beer, all under $8.00.

Also try Bajan chicken with Macaroni pie.

Jamaican curried conch, Trinidadian Roti, and ofcourse lobster on the beach.

I can go on.

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For me, St Barth had some great restaurants and also Puerto Rico (but living here I get to try everything they have to over and they do have some great choices). We have had good food in St. Martin also. I would say I have yet to eat well in St. Thomas and St. Joh and the BVI's are hit and miss.

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Perhaps not a fair answer, but I'm a fan of Petite St. Vincent. Trick answer though as Petite St. Vincent is both an island and a resort - and the meals are included. Probably not truly the "best" food in the Caribbean, but consistently very, very good.

And when one tires of the fancy dining one can order a hot dog which is grilled and served up on a genuine New England top split hot dog bun the owner flies in from Boston along with all the beef and other meats.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Cuba .... Jamaica ....  Puerto Rico.

Those are in my top 5 for sure.

I've never really understood going for an Italian (or some other European) meal when there is soo much good local cooking around.


"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

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I live in the Dominican Republic. I must say it is my favorite food of the Caribbean. The only problem I have here is that everyday cuisine is to repetitive. The national "flag" (food that represents dominican eating) is compsed by rice, slowly cooked beans (delicious) and any form of meat (specially "carne guisada" which is any meat slow cooked in a rich tomato seasoning). Puerto Rico is really good to. Both share similarities in their cuisine, each claiming responsibility for the famous dishes they share in comon. For me, the most tastiest highpoints are: salcocho (stewed root vegetables with different kinds of meat, the black bean variation is exquisite), Roasted Pork and Roasted Pork leg (traditional for christmas and new year because of it's high price), mofongo (plantain or yucca mashed with Fried porks skin and garlic), Pasteles en Hoja (they are like tamales but made of a mix of grated starchy vegetables like plantain, green bananas, yucca, yautía, etc. filled with seasoned meat, chicken or pork, wrapped in plantain leaves an boiled in salty water for 45 minutes, traditional for christmas season), stewed goat is popular in some regions and it is fantastic (sherried goat is my favorite). Theres a region here where a lot of oregano grows and goats eat it a lot so people say that goats in that region are tastier.

A lot of food here is heavy in carbohydrates or heay in fat (downsider) but cooking lighter is becoming a trend. What I love most is what dominican seasoning can do to elevate certain foods. People here do wonders with chicken and pork. The best fishermans stew I've ever tasted anywhere was in a small informal restaurant by the sea. The sweets that are traditional here are conserves. Guava skins, orange skins, papaya skins, grapefruit skins, cashew fruits.........all of these are slowly boiled in sugar, water and some sort of spice (could be cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc) to be sort of crystalized and conserved in jars with their syrup. This is served in small bowls sometimes with white creamy cheese (sort of dry ricotta, traditional here). The seasonings most used here are oregano, fresh cilantro, garlic, chicken buillion, soy sauce (yes, soy sauce) called locally chinese sauce, tomato paste and sazón ranchero in it's liquid and dry version (it is locally made by a company called Baltimore Dominicana). Most used vegetables: Onions, tomatoes, Cubanela peppers, garlic, cilantro, green beens, plantains, yucca, ......etc.

Overall, I like that flavors are strong and rich. Nothing bland here. If anyone wants a recipe for anything, I'll try and get it for you, just ask....

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I live in the Dominican Republic.  I must say it is my favorite food of the Caribbean.  The only problem I have here is that everyday cuisine is to repetitive.  The national "flag" (food that represents dominican eating) is compsed by rice, slowly cooked beans (delicious) and any form of meat (specially "carne guisada" which is any meat slow cooked in a rich tomato seasoning).  Puerto Rico is really good to.  Both share similarities in their cuisine, each claiming responsibility for the famous dishes they share in comon.  For me, the most tastiest highpoints are: salcocho (stewed root vegetables with different kinds of meat, the black bean variation is exquisite), Roasted Pork and Roasted Pork leg (traditional for christmas and new year because of it's high price), mofongo (plantain or yucca mashed with Fried porks skin and garlic), Pasteles en Hoja (they are like tamales but made of a mix of grated starchy vegetables like plantain, green bananas, yucca, yautía, etc. filled with seasoned meat, chicken or pork, wrapped in plantain leaves an boiled in salty water for 45 minutes, traditional for christmas season), stewed goat is popular in some regions and it is fantastic (sherried goat is my favorite).  Theres a region here where a lot of oregano grows and goats eat it a lot so people say that goats in that region are tastier.

A lot of food here is heavy in carbohydrates or heay in fat (downsider) but cooking lighter is becoming a trend.  What I love most is what dominican seasoning can do to elevate certain foods.  People here do wonders with chicken and pork.  The best fishermans stew I've ever tasted anywhere was in a small informal restaurant by the sea.  The sweets that are traditional here are conserves.  Guava skins, orange skins, papaya skins, grapefruit skins, cashew fruits.........all of these are slowly boiled in sugar, water and some sort of spice (could be cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc) to be sort of crystalized and conserved in jars with their syrup.  This is served in small bowls sometimes with white creamy cheese (sort of dry ricotta, traditional here).  The seasonings most used here are oregano, fresh cilantro, garlic, chicken buillion, soy sauce (yes, soy sauce) called locally chinese sauce, tomato paste and sazón ranchero in it's liquid and dry version (it is locally made by a company called Baltimore Dominicana).  Most used vegetables: Onions, tomatoes, Cubanela peppers, garlic, cilantro, green beens, plantains, yucca, ......etc.

Overall, I like that flavors are strong and rich.  Nothing bland here.  If anyone wants a recipe for anything, I'll try and get it for you, just ask....

Sounds wonderfull! The Dominican Republic seems to have many culinary tricks of it's sleeve. I've only tried the black beans and coconut rice, and a palm heart sallad from there. But there seems to be so much more goodies to try. It would be nice with a recipe for Salcocho, Mofongo and Roast Domingan Pork! And how you make the sazón ranchero (or preparado) would also be very nice to know.

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I lived in the Caribbean for 4 years and have to say the food is generally horrible. The main reason is that they just can't get great product over there. I have seen chicken and meat shipped in on boats from the US and it looked pretty damaged and was definitely not kept cold. If you eat anything, you should eat fish and other locally available items (as you should in any place). Overall, i think Barbados, Trinidad and Puerto Rico have the best food although i have heard great things about Cuba but have never been. I think the key is MORE PEOPLE=BETTER FOOD. The smaller the island population, the worse the food since there is less available.

Trinidad is really unique since it has a great combination of Indian/Chinese/African influences which meld together in great ways. My favorite thing there is a corn chowder they serve in huge vats right on the street.

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I lived in the Caribbean for 4 years and have to say the food is generally horrible.  The main reason is that they just can't get great product over there.  I have seen chicken and meat shipped in on boats from the US and it looked pretty damaged and was definitely not kept cold.  If you eat anything, you should eat fish and other locally available items (as you should in any place).  Overall, i think Barbados, Trinidad and Puerto Rico have the best food although i have heard great things about Cuba but have never been.  I think the key is MORE PEOPLE=BETTER FOOD.  The smaller the island population, the worse the food since there is less available.

Trinidad is really unique since it has a great combination of Indian/Chinese/African influences which meld together in great ways.  My favorite thing there is a corn chowder they serve in huge vats right on the street.

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I lived in the Caribbean for 4 years and have to say the food is generally horrible.  The main reason is that they just can't get great product over there.  I have seen chicken and meat shipped in on boats from the US and it looked pretty damaged and was definitely not kept cold.  If you eat anything, you should eat fish and other locally available items (as you should in any place).  Overall, i think Barbados, Trinidad and Puerto Rico have the best food although i have heard great things about Cuba but have never been.  I think the key is MORE PEOPLE=BETTER FOOD.  The smaller the island population, the worse the food since there is less available.

Trinidad is really unique since it has a great combination of Indian/Chinese/African influences which meld together in great ways.  My favorite thing there is a corn chowder they serve in huge vats right on the street.

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I think that the French islands have the best food. The islands of St. Bart's , Guadalupe, Ilse de Saintes,and Martinique are part of France...their supermarches are the most fantastic stores that I have seen! They are stocked with fresh fish, meat, freshly baked breads, pates, wines ... everything that a Frenchman must subside on. This is in contrast to the British or formerly British islands that have naught but the most unappatizing looking provisions.

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I think that the French islands have the best food.  The islands of St. Bart's , Guadalupe, Ilse de Saintes,and Martinique are part of France...their supermarches are the most fantastic stores that I have seen!    They are stocked with fresh fish, meat, freshly baked breads, pates, wines ... everything that a Frenchman must subside on.  This is in contrast to the British or formerly British islands that have naught but the most unappatizing looking provisions.

I agree that these islands, St. Martin included, have excellent French food, boulangeries and charcuteries, and very good European-style restaurants. But in terms of indigenous cuisine, I find them lacking.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I live in the Dominican Republic.  I must say it is my favorite food of the Caribbean.  The only problem I have here is that everyday cuisine is to repetitive.  The national "flag" (food that represents dominican eating) is compsed by rice, slowly cooked beans (delicious) and any form of meat (specially "carne guisada" which is any meat slow cooked in a rich tomato seasoning).  Puerto Rico is really good to.  Both share similarities in their cuisine, each claiming responsibility for the famous dishes they share in comon.  For me, the most tastiest highpoints are: salcocho (stewed root vegetables with different kinds of meat, the black bean variation is exquisite), Roasted Pork and Roasted Pork leg (traditional for christmas and new year because of it's high price), mofongo (plantain or yucca mashed with Fried porks skin and garlic), Pasteles en Hoja (they are like tamales but made of a mix of grated starchy vegetables like plantain, green bananas, yucca, yautía, etc. filled with seasoned meat, chicken or pork, wrapped in plantain leaves an boiled in salty water for 45 minutes, traditional for christmas season), stewed goat is popular in some regions and it is fantastic (sherried goat is my favorite).  Theres a region here where a lot of oregano grows and goats eat it a lot so people say that goats in that region are tastier.

A lot of food here is heavy in carbohydrates or heay in fat (downsider) but cooking lighter is becoming a trend.  What I love most is what dominican seasoning can do to elevate certain foods.  People here do wonders with chicken and pork.  The best fishermans stew I've ever tasted anywhere was in a small informal restaurant by the sea.  The sweets that are traditional here are conserves.  Guava skins, orange skins, papaya skins, grapefruit skins, cashew fruits.........all of these are slowly boiled in sugar, water and some sort of spice (could be cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc) to be sort of crystalized and conserved in jars with their syrup.  This is served in small bowls sometimes with white creamy cheese (sort of dry ricotta, traditional here).  The seasonings most used here are oregano, fresh cilantro, garlic, chicken buillion, soy sauce (yes, soy sauce) called locally chinese sauce, tomato paste and sazón ranchero in it's liquid and dry version (it is locally made by a company called Baltimore Dominicana).  Most used vegetables: Onions, tomatoes, Cubanela peppers, garlic, cilantro, green beens, plantains, yucca, ......etc.

Overall, I like that flavors are strong and rich.  Nothing bland here.  If anyone wants a recipe for anything, I'll try and get it for you, just ask....

A friend is going to the Dominican Republic in two weeks and staying at the Hamaca Coral in Santo Domingo. Any recommendations on where he should eat to get a true taste of the wonderful food you speak of?

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I think that the French islands have the best food.  The islands of St. Bart's , Guadalupe, Ilse de Saintes,and Martinique are part of France...their supermarches are the most fantastic stores that I have seen!    They are stocked with fresh fish, meat, freshly baked breads, pates, wines ... everything that a Frenchman must subside on.  This is in contrast to the British or formerly British islands that have naught but the most unappatizing looking provisions.

I agree that these islands, St. Martin included, have excellent French food, boulangeries and charcuteries, and very good European-style restaurants. But in terms of indigenous cuisine, I find them lacking.

Really? I've never been there but was served really nice things by a frenchman who had been there cooking. Feroce is quite exotic and nice, Feroce is dried salt cod mashed with avocado on cassava farine (ground meal). It's nicely served with a chili sauce, quite good actually. Then I was served grilled chicken in some marinade along with curacao, rum and other booze. Really cool stuff yeah..

He told me that he used to make a stew with squid and tripe, but I don't dare ever eating that thing!

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[...]He told me that he used to make a stew with squid and tripe, but I don't dare ever eating that thing!

Why not? Sounds right up my alley.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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[...]He told me that he used to make a stew with squid and tripe, but I don't dare ever eating that thing!

Why not? Sounds right up my alley.

haha.. Maybe. But I think it's too much a waste mixing those two up. Sounds like it's going to have a real slippery consistency..

If you want the recipe, I can post it.


Edited by Hector (log)

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If you have his permission, post it in RecipeGullet and credit the recipe to him. You can post a link here.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I think that the French islands have the best food.  The islands of St. Bart's , Guadalupe, Ilse de Saintes,and Martinique are part of France...their supermarches are the most fantastic stores that I have seen!    They are stocked with fresh fish, meat, freshly baked breads, pates, wines ... everything that a Frenchman must subside on.  This is in contrast to the British or formerly British islands that have naught but the most unappatizing looking provisions.

I agree that these islands, St. Martin included, have excellent French food, boulangeries and charcuteries, and very good European-style restaurants. But in terms of indigenous cuisine, I find them lacking.

I was surprised reading the first page of posts that no one mentioned the French islands at all. I've been all over the Carribean. Actually honeymooned for an entire month visiting St. Barths, Antigua, Anguila, Martinique, Guadeloupe. I've been to St. Martens, St. Kitts, the U.S. Virgins, etc. The reference to the Supermarches is right on the money, as is, in my opinion the conclusion that overall, you can find more hits than misses on the French Islands. Another, the French influence is obvious but well incorporated into the local product.

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