Food of Barbados - Cuisine of Barbados

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Cuisine of Barbados

History of Barbados

Barbadian Food History
The food and history of Barbados have long been influenced by food and traditions from England, Portugal, Spain and West Africa. Slaves from West Africa who were brought to Barbados in the 1600's were very influential in tradition and food. Most of the foods came from foods that could be found on and around the island including rice, fish and guava.
While many different cultures contributed to the food in Barbados, the British might be the most noticeable. Even today, there is a strong British influence in many of the foods and techniques.
The British decided to begin growing sugar cane in Barbados in the 1640's. This made sugar one of the most common foods on the island, right up with molasses, corn, rice and potatoes.

Cou Cou and Flying Fish

Food from Barbados

Traditional Food in Barbados
Most Barbadian food that is traditional is cooked with English and African ingredients and a dash of local spices and herbs.
Seasonings used in many dishes include marjoram, garlic, parsley, thyme, basil and spices such as paprika, salt, black pepper and clove.
Since vegetables such as asparagus and okra are locally grown, they are commonly used in dishes. Often, they are just lightly cooked and then sprinkled with a mixture of lime juice and butter. Local fish, including yellow fin tuna, snapper, mahi mahi and barracuda are also frequently found in Barbadian dishes.
Since sugar is grown on the island, it is no surprise that sweets are popular. Some local traditional candies are tamarind balls, guava cheese, chocolate fudge and peanut brittle. Coconut bread, Bajan baked custard and lemon meringue pie are also great desserts.


Barbados Dishes

Map of Barbados

        Popular Dishes in Barbados

  • Flying Fish - Fish is cooked and served with a sauce made of mustard and onions.
  • Pepperpot - This Barbadian dish is very spicy and has pork in it.
  • Flying Fish Cutter - This is a sort of sandwich, with fried flying fish served in a bun of salt bread.
  • Pudding N' Souse - Pig intestines are stuffed with sweet potatoes.
  • Fish cakes - Fish balls are deep fried and are made from a mix of herbs and cod fish.
  • Conkies - This island favorite is made up of coconut, pumpkin, corn flour, and sweet potatoes, then wrapped in a leaf from a banana tree.
  • Cou Cou and Flying Fish - This is the Barbadian national dish. It is a combination of okra and cornmeal combined with pepper, salt and Bajan hot sauce. The flying fish is either steamed or fried.
  • Bajan Macaroni Pie and Flying Fish - While the most common fish in this dish is Flying Fish, mahi mahi or blue marlin can also be used. Macaroni and cheese is served with the fish.
  • Bajan Black Eye Peas and Rice - This is the most common rice dish in the country. Sometimes, kidney beans and parsley are used in the recipe.
  • Bajan Candied Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes and brown sugar are both common in Barbados and this is a favorite. Sometimes, they are mashed and covered with cherries and pineapples.

Barbados Drink

          Barbadian Drinks

  • Mount Gay - This is the most famous rum in Barbados.
  • Mauby - This drink is non-alcoholic and comes from the bark of a local tree that has been sweetened, boiled and strained.
  • Sugar Can Brandy - A favorite of Bajans.
  • Banks - A favorite beer of Barbados.

About Barbados

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