10 Traditional Food in Barbados

traditional food in barbados
| 4 min read

Whether it is gourmet food or local specialties, Barbados does not disappoint. Barbadian cuisine is also known as the Bajan cuisine. This is a mixture of African, Indian, Irish, Creole and British touches. A typical national meal in Barbados consists of a main dish of meat or fish, which has been marinated with a variety of herbs and spices. The meal is served alongside hot side dishes and a salad. Sauces are also provided with the meal. With a rich culinary history, Barbados is every food connoisseur’s delight. The locals take great pride in the food they have to offer and also frequently prepare their local favourites at home. What better way can there be to experience the local food than to be in Barbados itself. There is a great dining scene in the country and travellers should take advantage of that. So book that trip and choose among the best luxury villas and honeymoon resorts for your accommodation needs. Then take a look below at the top 10 traditional foods which you should try when in Barbados.

1. Rum Cake

Rum cake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kent Wang used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Care to try a Bajan Christmas delicacy known as the rum cake? This cake is a common sight during Christmas and sometimes variations of ingredients are added along with rum. Besides Christmas, one will also be able to find the rum cake being served for occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Various fruits like cherries, raisins and prunes are added to make this rum cake tasty. These cakes have a strong rum flavour and make a great gift to anyone who enjoys alcohol. The cake stores well, making it easy for travellers to buy back to your home country.

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2. Cou-cou

Cou-cou is a national dish of Barbados and is reportedly said to be ranked third on the National Geographic’s top 10 national dishes. Cou-cou itself is cornmeal, which is easily available around Barbados. It is typically made by stirring continuously with what is known as a coucou stick, a long stick resembling a small replica of a cricket bat. This stirring is important as it ensures that all lumps are removed. Okra water is added into the mixture and stirred till the right texture is attained. This dish is usually served in an oval form and is eaten hot. Breadfruit, yam and green banana, all of which are locally grown in Barbados can also be used to make Cou-cou.

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3. Flying Fish

Fried flying fish
Source: Photo by Flickr user JoshBerglund19 used under CC BY 2.0

Flying fish can be said to be the national dish of Barbados. As much as you may wonder what this fish is, you will be amazed to know that these fish can actually “fly” over the water before landing on it again. This fish variety is unique to Barbados and is usually made by adding salt and pepper to it. Often, a special Bajan seasoning is used and this contains a variety of ingredients like onions, chillies, capsicum, celery and garlic. Locals usually eat this dish with Cou-cou or bread.

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4. Cоnkiеѕ

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Conkies is a sweet food item made of cornmeal and other ingredients like coconut, sweet potato and pumpkin. The mixture is then cooked by steaming in banana leaves. Many locals consider this dish to be a favorite treat. It is usually made in commemoration of Barbados’ Independence in the month of November. Be sure to try out this local delicacy when in the country.

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5. Bakes

Yes, bakes is the name of this dish found in Barbados. Bakes are traditional delicacy in Barbados, which is easy to make. These are eaten mostly for breakfast. However, you can also eat them at any time during the day! Some locals usually eat bakes with cod fish, fishcakes, porridge, cheese or even just plain butter. Three main ingredients are used to make this dish - flour, sugar and water. Kids also love it and it makes a great snack for them.

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6. Brown Stew Chicken

You might have done all the best things to do in Barbados, but have you tried tasting the Bajan brown stew chicken yet? It is another local specialty that is commonly made in the homes of locals.This dish is chock-full of flavor and made with ingredients like carrots, potatoes and bell peppers. The chicken is browned on both sides and then cooked in sauce. The dish is called brown stew chicken owing to the distinct dark colour of the dish which is achieved by browning it in brown sugar.

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7. Jug Jug

This is a traditional dish which is made of pigeon peas. Stock is used in the making of this dish and this stock is made of various ingredients like meat, bones, herbs and spices. Okras are sometimes chopped and added into this dish. This dish is regarded as very rich and served in a casserole topped with butter. During Christmas, boiled ham is sometimes added. In fact, no table is ever complete without jug jug.

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8. Barbecued Pig Tails

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

When in Barbados, expand your barbecue repertoire with a dish of barbecued pig tails. These tails are not the typical curly ones that you see. Instead, they are bigger and that is because it is actually the vertabrae that is boiled and then barbecued. When the meat gets a charred look, it is tossed in delicious sauce. The end result is a delicious plate of pig tails, which can be eaten like ribs.

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9. Sea Egg

Tripneustes ventricosus (West Indian Sea Egg) edit
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nhobgood used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The waters of Barbados have something special to offer. Enjoy the Bajan sea eggs, which is known to be a delicacy in Barbados. This is one food item which is commonly eaten by the locals in the country. Sea eggs are harvested from the local waters during the season. There are fish markets around the Bridgеtоwn роrt which would sell these eggs, thus you’ll get to know that these eggs are in season. After harvesting, there are many ways to prepare the eggs. These include frying, stewing and sautéing. It is said that some people eat this raw, as well.

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10. Cаѕѕаvа Pоnе

cassava pone
Source: Photo by Flickr user stu_spivack used under CC BY-SA 2.0

As what many may think, Cassava Pone is nоt exactly a рudding or a саkе,. Instead, it is a Bajan treat, which is probably a combination of everything. It has a bit of sweetness, combined with a glutinous texture or sometimes even moist. Although most Bajan desserts are known for being rich in taste, this gummy cake treat is light and not overly sweet. Mainly made of cassava, pumpkin and coconut, this dessert will be the fancy of many people.

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Gastronomical experience in Barbados

Source: Photo by user J dahlia used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pack your bags and land in Barbados to indulge in a truly local culinary experience. With so many different types of food in store, make sure you sample them all when in the country. Check out the best adults-only hotels and vacation rentals with chef for more accommodation options.

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Sheela, a devoted mother to two remarkable young children, takes immense pleasure in family travel experiences. With a well-traveled history spanning numerous countries, her passion lies in the...Read more

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