Sticker shock. That’s pretty much the only way to put it. Seeing the prices at the Epicurean Market in Jolly Harbor, which the guide book said was a fantastic place to provision, was horrifying. To top it off, not really much of the food was particularly appetizing.
This is as true in Maine as it is here in Antigua: provisioning based on what the written guides say will, in a vast majority of cases, lead you to convenience but will not lead you to budget-friendly, fresh, local food.
Things I could probably assume about Antigua based on the the things I’ve seen and that it’s hot here: they most likely grow their own citrus and other tropical fruits. Goats, chicken, and sheep are probably their primary livestock. Seafood is a no-brainer, though judging by what was in the grocery store, they fly a lot of it in to satisfy the tourists. There has to be local food somewhere.
So we took a bus to St. John’s, the capital. They let us out right at the vegetable, fish and meat markets.
Most produce stands offered very similar things, though some of the folks running them were better at hooking you in for a sale. Plantains, tomatoes, imported limes but amazing local lemons, a limited amount of greens, and many more recognizable fruits and vegetables were available at most stalls.
The fish market and meat market were a little less populated, and choices were slim. It made me think that perhaps we’d have better luck on a weekend or that maybe there are particular days that are best for hitting the market. If we were staying here longer, I’d just ask someone what days were best. Everyone in the market was helpful in their own way.