French Guiana Food and Drink

You can eat well in French Guiana, with a wide range of culinary options on offer, which combines local and international cuisine and reflects the country’s diverse cultural mix.

Unsurprisingly, French food predominates, particularly bread and pastries, with some excellent patisseries in Cayenne. Other influences include Vietnamese, Chinese, Creole and Indonesian. Fish and seafood are plentiful, and exotic game from the forests is popular in traditional stews (see below). As elsewhere in South America, typical staples are rice, beans, yucca and sweet potatoes.

Rum and locally produced firewater called tafia, are the favoured spirits, with light lager the most popular beer. French wine is also available, though very expensive.

Specialities

Bouillon d'aoura: Smoked fish, crab, prawns, vegetables and chicken, served with aoura, the fruit of savanna trees.
Forest game: A wide range of animals, including collared peccary, paca and tapir are hunted as game. These are usually eaten as a fricassee and are accompanied by rice and kidney beans.
Couac: Grated and dried yucca, served as a side dish.
Boucanage: Meat or fish cooked in banana plant leaves.
Blaff: Spicy fish chowder, often eaten at breakfast.
Ti' Punch: A traditional aperitif of lime, sugar cane syrup and rum usually accompanied by cod rolls and black pudding.
Planter: Rum cocktail, mixed with sugar and fruit juice.
Kalou: Spicy dish of smoked fish, with collard greens.
Roti: Bread, fried in oil and eaten dipped into stews.
Doku: Creamy dessert made of mashed corn, with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Tipping

In hotels and restaurants a 10% tip is usual.

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