When most people think about food from the Caribbean they think of spicy dishes and usually the popular culinary spices known as “Jerk” seasoning. While this type of food can be found across the Caribbean the “jerk” style of cooking is not native to Barbados. The Caribbean Islands all have their own unique recipes and favorite dishes.
In Barbados the combinations of spices and herbs used give the local traditional food its very own flavor. This tasty combination of marjoram, parsley, thyme, and green onions is often referred to across the island as Bajan seasoning, or in some places it is called Barbados seasoning. Many of the dishes in Barbados are made with Barbados rum that is distilled across the island.
Food is such an important part of the island of Barbados culture that they have officially declared a national dish. Cou Cou and Flying Fish is a dish that appears on menus and home dinner tables across the island. Like many of the dishes served on the island you may not recognize the names given to the dishes if you have never visited the island, but the ingredients used are familiar to most people. Cou Cou for instance is a combination of okra and cornmeal seasoned salt and pepper and spiced up with Bajan hot sauce. Flying fish is plentiful in the waters that surround Barbados and is one of the most frequently caught fish. The most popular way to serve up this native fish is either steamed or fried.
The national dish is not the only food whose name may be unfamiliar with you. These are some of the other dishes you will find across the island that are definitely worth a try! While “rice n’ peas” may cause you to picture a bowl of the popular white rice sprinkled with green peas you would only be half right. “rice ‘n peas” is a dish that combines rice with the native African pea known to most people as a black eyed pea. Another variety of this popular dish also includes parsley and kidney beans. A dish that is often reserved for special occasions is pudding ‘n souse. This dish is a combination of pig and sweet potatoes.
Pig intestines are stuffed with sweet potatoes to create the pudding and the pigs head and trotters are boiled to create the souse. A salt bread bun combined with 2 pieces of Bajan seasoned salt fish cakes creates the popular dish appropriately named “a bun and two”. Another dish that includes a salt bread bun is the “flying fish cutter” this time the bun is paired with a fried fillet of the islands popular flying fish. An American favorite, macaroni and cheese gets a new name and a new partner in Barbados. “pie and fish” consist of a serving of Barbados macaroni and cheese served alongside a fried fillet of flying fish or other native fish found in the islands waters. Not all of the food in Barbados will be unfamiliar. Other popular dishes you may recognize include candied sweet potatoes, fried plantains, and fish cakes. The islands most popular fruit is the Barbados cherry. This fruit is often used to make juice.