Cuisine is such a key element of a nation’s culture that it is important to give it a try in order to fully understand the people of said culture. Barbadian cuisine, more commonly referred to as Bajan cuisine, is full of delicious dishes. Bajan cuisine is the result of a mix between African, Indian, Portuguese, Irish, British and Creole influences, making food taste uniquely flavorsome. In Barbados, you’ll notice typical food is commonly prepared with lots of herbs and spices, resulting in pretty mouth watering meals. Here are the most delightful foods in Barbados you must try!
Cou Cou and Flying Fish
You may not know this but Barbados has something very unique about the ocean that surrounds it: it’s filled with flying fish. In fact, about 60% of the fish that can be found on the island are flying fish. Of course this sea creature has brought a lot of value to the island – it is even imprinted on the one dollar coin! Additionally, it is also a part of the national dish: Cou Cou and Flying Fish. The fish is usually fried or steamed and prepared with onions, tomatoes and Bajan seasoning. The other part of this plate, Cou Cou, consists of cornmeal and okra and it has a resemblance to grits or polenta. The combination of both foods make this dish an exquisite one, an absolute must try when visiting Barbados.
Another Barbadian staple, Macaroni Pie is absolutely delicious. Think of a rich and flavorsome baked version of mac and cheese. Although you might find macaroni pie in many places of the Caribbean, it is believed to have originated in Barbados. People usually eat this delicious pie as a side with flying fish or other meat, but we’re not gonna lie, it’s so delicious that eating it as a main course would not surprise us. In essence, macaroni pie is prepared with macaroni pasta, cheese, milk and spaghetti. There are also a few variations of it, as some people enjoy adding a few spices and even hot sauce.
Fish cakes are another very popular dish in Bajan cuisine. You will find restaurants all over the island offering them, from 5 star restaurants to street side vendors. These fried cakes are made from mixing salted cod fish and a number of spices and herbs that give it an enhanced tasty flavor. The outside is quite crispy and the inside is softer, even kind of chewy. Aside from eating them by themselves, Barbadians love to eat them an alternate way called “Bread and Two”, where two fish cakes are sandwiched in salt bread. Salt bread is also a typical food from Barbados, has a light golden appearance, and contrary to what its name implies, it’s not really salty.
Pudding and Souse
Although it is considered a Sunday lunch staple, Pudding and Souse is one of the dishes you have to try if you visit Barbados. This dish consists of souse – pickled pork, cucumbers, lime juice, peppers and parsley – accompanied with steamed sweet potato pudding. Aside from all of that, Pudding and Souse is often accompanied by pickled breadfruit on the side. Some people also enjoy adding sausage to this dish, but it is more of an optional component. This one is a definite must try.
There is no doubt that Barbados has a lot to offer: stunning beaches, warmhearted people and an exquisite selection of typical food. Book your stay at the Hilton Barbados Resort and learn more about the island here.