Cuisine of Saint Helena

Location of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean

The island of Saint Helena has been influenced by several European powers, by the inhabitants, (especially slaves) and the ships passing through, during its history. This has affected the cuisine of Saint Helena, which now has a vibrant and international cuisine variety.

Popular dishes on the island include traditional British Sunday roast, curry, black pudding, pumpkin stew and spicy fishcakes. Fish is one of the staple foods, along with rice, and spices are added to make a wide variety of dishes similar to those found in the Caribbean.

Fishcakes are made from a mixture of spices, herbs, mashed potato and fresh fish like tuna and are shallow fried until golden brown. Pilau is a spiced curried rice with meat or fish. It is served hot, often without vegetables. Coconut fingers are long, finger-shaped Madeira cakes dipped in icing and rolled in coconut. Pumpkin pudding is a dish of baked pumpkin, dried fruit, flour, eggs and nutmeg.


Most ingredients for the most popular dishes are found locally. Fish such as tuna, wahoo and mackerel are used, and often mixed with a variety of herbs and spices. Curries are made from meat or fish, and are served piping hot with a large amount of spice and often no vegetables at all. One example of this is pilau. Fruit and vegetables are mostly locally grown, such as pumpkin, coconut and banana. Pumpkin pudding and coconut fingers are popular desserts.

Local drinks

Saint Helena is famous for its coffee and the island also produces a special distilled drink called Tungi Spirit.


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