Want to get in touch with the culture of Barbados? The best (and most delicious) way to really get to know the island is through your taste-buds. I know I’ll be doing that this week at the Barbados Food and Rum Festival (watch this space for pictures and recipes).
One of the true delights of visiting Barbados is the opportunity to experience delicious authentic Bajan food. And, it certainly is an experience – Barbadian food is made with a combination of fresh local produce and a variety of ingredients, enhanced with aromatic herbs and spices to create that distinct Bajan flare and flavour.
Casual diners love the easy way to feed their need for Bajan Food while visiting Barbados. Nighttime vendors line both sides of the street and serve local delicacies such as grilled pigtail, fried kingfish, pepper-pot, and conch fritters. The easy-going booths allow visitors to eat while they take in the gorgeous views of the nightlife and beaches. These outdoor mini restaurants are also a good way for the eater who isn’t ‘quite sure’ to pick and choose among the unusual dishes without making too big of a commitment.
Even sit down restaurants are more casual during the lunch time hours, turning more formal in the evening hours. Wherever you decide to eat, standing up or sitting down, these three recipes are a must if you want to experience the full flavor of Bajan Food.
If you don’t know what a fishcake is, please allow me introduce you to one of the most delicious and popular finger foods from the island. Fish cakes are a traditional Barbados breakfast dish. They may be eaten on their own or served with delicious sweet bakes. For those on the go , the preferred way of enjoying fish cakes is sandwiched in a “salt bread”, this is known as a “bread and two”. Every Bajan will have a specific way they make fishcakes, but the fundamentals are always the same: dried saltfish, oil, herbs and spices.
Fish cakes are also a favourite appetizer at restaurants and finger food at cocktail parties. You can find the recipe here.
Pudding and Souse
Every Saturday in Barbados you will see signs displayed island wide advertising freshly made Pudding & Souse. It is not to everyone’s liking as it is made from various parts of a pig, but those who try it, love it. This staple Bajan food is also called black and white pudding. Made with sweet potato and herbs, served with soused pork and called Pudding and Souse. Pickled in cucumber, onion and lime juice, this Bajan Food classic is one you just must try.
In Barbados, it is primarily served on Saturdays and consumed by young and old alike. You can find the recipe here.
Flying Fish and Cou Cou
Barbados’ national dish is coucou and flying fish. Why is it called coucou? The coucou is stirred continuously with a coucou stick (a long stick which resembles a small replica of a cricket bat). Barbados was called the ‘land of flying fish’ because of the plentiful amount of flying fish found in Barbados’ waters and now the flying fish is Barbados’ national fish. Put them together and what do you have? Deliciousness. You can find the recipe here.
Whether you get the chance to travel to Barbados or try these recipes at home… these dishes have a rich flavour and cultural history. I’ll be trying the best that Bajan Food has to offer at the Food and Rum festival, look for upcoming posts very soon. You can also catch the Bajan Festival flavor by following along with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Happy eating! x