“Members of the Devaux family have owned various lands in St. Lucia at one time or another, but that of Morne Courbaril, at Soufriere, is the only one which remained in the hands of the family for more than two centuries. It seems that no other St. Lucian estate has remained so long in the same family.
In the 1740’s the sugar planters of Martinique suffered a decline in prosperity. Some of them sought to improve their fortunes by selling their sugar estates and establishing coffee plantations, which required less capital expenditure on slaves and on equipment. Several planters moved from Martinique to St. Lucia, which was still largely unoccupied, so that land could be obtained for little more than the cost of clearing the forest and bush.
Among these planters were Philippe de Vaux and his brothers Guillaume-Andre de Vaux des Rivieres and Henry de Vaux de Bellefond. They obtained a concession of land in the Soufriere valley, which was thought to be the most fertile part of St. Lucia (according to an account written by the chief government surveyor of St Lucia about forty years later, the soil of the Soufriere district was perhaps the best in the islands, and certainly the best in St. Lucia).
It was in the 1740’s that the French authorities established an administrative system in St. Lucia. A map of the island, which seems to have been made at this time, shows the various plantations which were scattered about the island. One was the “Devaux” establishment at Soufriere…”
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The Plantation currently produces cocoa, coffee and copra, as well as growing a vast selection of tropical fruits such as orange, grapefruit and lime, all of which are used to make juices, available in our restaurant. Additionally coconuts are harvested and used to make coconut cake, also available at the restaurant and in the gift shop.
Toasted Manioc Flour:
Manioc, also called cassava, is a starchy tropical tuber. Ground and dried, it becomes manioc flour — what tapioca is made of. Manioc flour is often sprinkled over a meal to thicken it and add substance and crunch.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add one small onion, finely sliced, and cook over low heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in one beaten egg and cook, stirring, until dry and crumbly, about 30 seconds. Add a cup and a half of manioc flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley and season with salt. Serve with chilli, paella or feijoada.