When you think of Barbados, you usually think about beaches and friendly people, but Barbados is also known for its delicious foods! The island is known as the “Culinary capital of the Caribbean” because of its many delicious offerings. Here are 5 authentic Bajan dishes you must try during your Barbados trip:
Cou-Cou & Flying Fish
This dish is actually the national dish of Barbados. The key ingredients for the cou-cou are cornmeal and diced okras. This is served with steamed flying fish cooked to Bajan perfection utilizing a variety of herbs and spices to give it a delicious Caribbean flavour. For the full Bajan experience, be sure to add some Bajan pepper sauce and enjoy!
Pudding & Souse
You mainly find this dish on Saturdays throughout the entire island. Each Saturday, locals flock to their favourite spots to purchase pudding and souse for lunch. The souse in this combination is pickled pork or there might be other meat options delicacies such as chicken steppers (feet). The pudding is comprised of steamed sweet potatoes mixed with onions and other herbs and spices. This dish is served with breadfruit, sweet potatoes and sometimes even green bananas as a side. In true Bajan fashion, this dish can be very spicy! Be sure to make your pudding and souse purchase early, as vendors are usually sold out before midday.
Popularly known as just “pie”, this dish is another local favourite and is known as Barbados’ unofficial national dish. Macaroni pie is macaroni and cheese prepared with cheddar cheese, flavourfully enhanced by ingredients such as onions, herbs, mustard and ketchup, which is then baked to golden perfection. It can be eaten alone or with any meat. This dish can be found on menus all over the island; from restaurants to street vendors. It is also a popular dish for Sunday lunch in Barbadian households.
Cutters are perfect for breakfast or for a light lunch or snack. A cutter is ideally essentially a sandwich, but the yummy Bajan version. Instead of using sliced bread, they these are prepared using Bajan ‘salt bread’ (a bun, which is not actually salty!) with your favourite filling. Popular fillings include cheese, egg, fish and ham. Also, no cutter is complete without some Bajan pepper sauce!
When it comes to finger foods, fish cakes are the most popular in Barbados. You are guaranteed to find this favourite on menus all over the island from upscale restaurants to street vendors. These delicious flavour-filled balls are made by combining flour, pre-boiled salted cod fish and Bajan seasoning. This batter is then dropped by a spoon into hot oil and fried until golden brown. These delicious fishcakes are usually served with Bajan pepper sauce as a dip. You might also hear some people ordering a “bread and two”- this is actually two fishcakes between a salt bread bun with cheese and pepper sauce. This is a very popular and tasty breakfast choice for locals.