Taste of the Caribbean: Didier, Martinique’s Answer to Perrier
On its surface, a bland bottle of drinking water may seem a poor inspiration for the type of uncommon travel adventures we promote here on a daily basis. It’s not like it’s some rare rum, innovative beer, or even an elusive soda available only within the region. It’s just water, same as you can get most anywhere, right?
We’re talking about Didier, and believe me, it’s no ordinary H2O.
A 100% naturally sparkling spring water noted for being rich in magnesium, Didier is one of the many fruits of nature on offer in Martinique. Supposedly, it’s the only naturally carbonated spring water sourced anywhere in the region!
I can’t vouch for that, necessarily, but I can tell you it carries and amazingly crisp, clean flavor that far eclipses the bottled water to whom it’s most closely compared – Perrier.
Didier has been bottled and sold commercially in Martinique since the 1930’s, but its use as a medicinal tonic goes back much, much further. Recorded incidents of water from Le Fontaine Didier being used to treat liver disorders and rheumatism date back to the mid-19th century.
If you ever try to hike to Didier’s source, you may also hope that it works on scrapes and bruises as well.
I haven’t done it (yet) myself, but by all accounts (here’s a great one) this is not one of the easier treks to make on Martinique. There are multiple waterfalls, that become progressively more inaccessible the further you venture up the river/trail. At the largest waterfall, the rushing water is deafening, the pool shallow – a combo that does not encourage swimming under the cascading water.
To get here you even have to traverse a dark, dank tunnel that extends a good 150 feet in length! A pipe taking the water to the purification and bottling plant runs through the tunnel, and there is railing that also runs most of the way, but it’s still plenty dark and plenty slippery, so definitely bring a flashlight and some good hiking shoes.
The payoff, though, is incredible, not only in enjoying the lush and secluded surroundings while you’re here, but also in basking in this amazing water’s rich history and unique flavor each and every time you pick up a bottle, the memories of this uncommon hike rushing back with each sip.
Yeah, I’d say this water’s about perfect for us.
You can find Didier all over Martinique. In addition to the natural version pictured here, it also comes in lime, orange and mint flavors. Even if you don’t make the hike, I highly recommend giving ’em a try to get a truly authentic, refreshing taste of Martinique.
Lead photo credit: mamottux via Flickr.