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21 Delicious Foods From Barbados Everyone Should Know And Love

Bread and two for life.

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1. Cou cou

Angie Torres / Creative Commons / Flickr / Via Flickr: angietorres

What it is: Similar to grits, this is part of the national dish of Barbados – flying fish and cou cou. It's made with cornmeal and okra, and is served with flying fish and gravy.

Why you should try it: On its own, it's a staple dish that can be added to most any meal with meat and fish to give it a bit more heft.

Get a recipe here.

2. Flying fish

What it is: This dish is exactly what you’d think it would be — cooked flying fish. It's usually prepared with a little salt and pepper or with special Bajan seasoning. The fish is either fried or steamed with sliced onions and cherry tomatoes.

Why you should try it: It's the national dish of Barbados for a reason – it's a staple food that can be fried, steamed, baked, or pickled.

Get a recipe here.

3. Rice and peas

What it is: A blend of rice and savory pigeon peas, which is usually served as a side to fried fish, chicken, pork, or beef stew.

Why you should try it: It really is the quintessential West Indian food – it goes with most anything and is just as good and filling on its own.

Get a recipe here.

4. Salt bread

What it is: Unlike most Barbados breads, salt bread is savory. It's typically used for cutters (sandwiches) but makes a delicious dinner roll next to fried flying fish.

Why you should try it: It's great with a dab of butter or cheese and can make up a snack in between meals or accompany a full meal.

Get a recipe here.


5. Cutters

What it is: Always on salt bread, a cutter is a sandwich with either egg, ham, or fish inside. If you want to get fancy, you can dress up your cutter with lettuce, tomato or even cucumber.

Why you should try it: It's an easy, delectable treat that can be a snack or a meal.

6. Fish cakes

What it is: Fried, spicy goodness made with salt fish and Bajan herbs and spices. Old school folks make them into little discs, but most make them into little fish balls and fry them. They're served along with hot pepper sauce for dipping. Either way, they're delicious.

Why you should try it: They're cute rounds of delightful fish fritters that make bread and two – two fish cakes in between a sliced roll of salt bread.

Get a recipe here.

7. Macaroni pie

Angie Torres / Via Flickr: angietorres

What it is: Macaroni pie is a rich, baked mac and cheese. Instead of elbow macaroni, it's made with tubed macaroni noodles that are broken and mixed with cheese, herbs and spices, onion, and a mix of ketchup and yellow mustard. Some people substitute the ketchup mix with diced tomatoes and also incorporate chunks of meat into it. It's usually served as a side to flying fish or meat.

Why you should try it: It's mac and cheese x10 – a decadent, baked pasta and cheese dish.

Get a recipe here.

8. Pudding and souse

Angie Torres / Via Flickr: angietorres

What it is: The “pudding” in this dish is made with pounded sweet potatoes that are mixed with onions, salt, and pepper. It's then stuffed into a clean pig intestine and tied off — similar to a sausage. It's then cooked in a boiling pot of water. The “souse” is made up of parts of the pig that are pickled – the feet, snout, or ears. It's sometimes served with a picked cucumber on the side.

Why you should try it: It's a delicacy that makes sure no food goes to waste.

Get a recipe here.


9. Conkies

What it is: Cooked by steam and wrapped in a banana leaf, conkies are a traditional Bajan dish. Corn flour mixed with coconut, spices, sugar, pumpkin, and the optional raisins or cherries make up this sweet treat. Originally, they were prepared on Guy Fawkes Day. Now, it’s eaten any time but especially when celebrating Barbados' Independence Day.

Why you should try it: It's a filling, sweet snack and staple that has ties to Bajan culture and history.

Get a recipe here.

10. Breadfruit

What it is: This may be a strange looking fruit, but it's a very nutritious, starchy one. Breadfruit is plentiful around the island – there are trees on almost every corner. They're often served as a side to steamed fish.

Why you should try it: Whether it's boiled, baked, crushed or made into chips, breadfruit can be transformed in a number of ways – all ones you should try.

Get a recipe here.

11. Rum punch

What it is: A cocktail with a simple recipe that's easy to remember: One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak.

Why you should try it: Unlike rum punch from elsewhere in the Caribbean, Bajan rum punch is made with Barbados' own Mount Gay Rum.

Get a recipe here.

12. Sweet bread

What it is: Also referred to as coconut bread, it's just that: bread sweetened with coconut. Sugar is also added and sometimes raisins and dried cherries. The only difference from a standard loaf of bread is the texture. Although it's baked in a loaf, it's more cookie-like than anything.

Why you should try it: It's a cookie loaf! There's not a problem with that.

Get a recipe here.


13. Bajan black cake

What it is: What started as Christmas Figgy Pudding became what is commonly referred to as rum cake or great cake by a change of ingredients. Instead of using the usual brandy, Bajan rum is used. Some people add fruits like dried cherries, prunes, or raisins.

Why you should try it: It's a dessert made with the kick of Bajan rum.

Get a recipe here.

14. Pepperpot

What it is: Similar to stew, this dish is made with meats like pork, beef, and mutton then seasoned with spices and hot peppers. It can be served with rice or bread and butter to sop up the savory juices.

Why you should try it: Pepperpot makes for great leftovers — it's even better a few days after you first make it.

Get a recipe here.

15. Bakes

What it is: These delicacies are pretty much teeny pancakes made with flour, salt, and water. There's also a variation called a "muffin" where you add baking powder to make it more rounded.They're often served with fish cakes.

Why you should try it: It’s easy to make — basically just fried dough. What’s not to love?

Get a recipe here.

16. Sea eggs

What it is: A species of sea urchin, sea eggs (also referred to as “white sea eggs”) are plucked right from the ocean floor. They can be eaten raw, but most folks fry or stew it. It's an acquired taste.

Why you should try it: It's a very unique dish that'll expand your palate.

Get a recipe here.


17. Jug jug

© Cynthia Nelson Photography / Via

What it is: Said to be a derivative of the Scottish dish haggis, jug jug is made up of smashed pigeon peas which is then mixed with pork, beef, hot pepper, corn, onions, thyme, and sometimes includes chopped okra. It's a rich and savory dish that's popular with older generations of Bajans and usually served with boiled ham.

Why you should try it: Traditionally, it's served around Christmas time, which makes it an instant reminder of the holidays.

Get a recipe here.

18. Cassava pone

Creative Commons / Flickr / Via Flickr: stuart_spivack

What it is: Cassava pone is sort of like a gummy cake. Most of it is made from cassava flour which comes from the cassava root. It's slightly sweet but not as sugary as other baked goods on the island. Like many other Bajan dishes, some dress this one up by adding raisins, while others add carrots.

Why you should try it: It's not overwhelmingly sweet, which makes it a good dessert for those who want something with a little less richness that Bajan food is known for.

Get a recipe here.

19. Mauby drink

What it is: Made primarily from the bark of a tree, mauby drink is brewed with spices like mauby bark (of course), cinnamon, and nutmeg. Although mauby syrup is packaged and sold in the store, there are still people who make this popular drink from scratch. It's bitterness makes it an acquired taste, though.

Why you should try it: The drink goes with most foods and is beloved much like sweet tea is in the south.

Get a recipe here.

20. Guava cheese

What it is: This technically isn't cheese at all, it's more like cranberry jelly. The sweet, slightly citrusy treat is usually cooked to a soft, taffy-like consistency.

Why you should try it: Guava cheese makes for a nice spread on salt bread when you want to get ~fancy~.

Get a recipe here.

21. Chicken curry

© Cynthia Nelson Photography / Via

What it is: What makes this chicken curry extra special is the Bajan seasoning, which is used in many other dishes for meat, as well as a stuffing. It's usually served over rice or with roti, a flat bread.

Why you should try it: Bajan curry chicken has the kick of curry with the signature earthy, oniony, peppery taste of Bajan seasoning that makes this dish special.

Get a recipe here.