While Barbados may be more favourite for its rum than its food, it has an incredibly rich culinary history, incorporating the many cultures which have influenced the islands throughout its history.
Whether it’s gourmet dining or just street food, Barbados is bursting with flavour, and we’re going to take a look at 21 foods which you need to try during your visit.
The national dish of Barbados, flying fish is usually seasoned with salt and peppers, or a special Bajan seasoning used across a number of dishes containing various ingredients such as onions, chillies, capsicum, celery and garlic and serve over rice or roti flatbread.
Flying fish can be served a number of ways, usually fried, steamed, baked or pickled and served with sliced onions and cherry tomatoes.
Served alongside flying fish as the island’s national dish, and can be served with almost anything. It’s made using cornmeal and okra and is similar to polenta.
Cutters are simply a local type of sandwich (often made with the local delicacy of flying fish), which are made with salt bread.
Don’t worry though, salt bread doesn’t actually taste of salt! Instead, it’s a freshly baked roll with a crusty exterior and soft, fluffy interior.
As an island, it’s no surprise that fish makes up a lot of the cuisine of Barbados. Their fishcakes differ slightly in that they are made using a saltfish and flour batter and various Bajan herbs and spices.
They’re also usually served with a tasty hot pepper sauce or in a sliced roll of salt bread (known as ‘bread and two’).
The best way to describe sweet bread is essentially as a cross between a cookie and bread, and that sounds pretty great to us!
It’s made by sweetening normal bread with coconut and adding sugar, raisins and dried cherries.
Bajan desserts are known for being particularly rich, but this gummy cake/bread is a little lighter on the sweetness.
Its flour is made from the cassava root and will often feature raisins or maybe even carrots too.
This is your traditional figgy pudding from Christmas with a Barbadian twist! Instead of using brandy, the locals use Bajan rum to give it that extra kick and will also often add fruits such as dried cherries, prunes and raisins.
To set this apart from your standard chicken curry, the locals use Bajan seasoning to give it an earthy but spicy flavour and serve over a roti flatbread.
These really easy to make delicacies are essentially miniature pancakes, made using flour, salt and water, and they’re usually served alongside fishcakes.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, why not try this species of sea urchin, taken right from the floor of the ocean.
While they can be eaten raw, we’d definitely recommend frying or stewing them as they’re something of an acquired taste!
This dish uses standard rice and ‘pigeon peas’ and is a true classic of the West Indies, served as a side to main meals, although it’s just as tasty eaten on its own as a snack.
If you love mac and cheese, you’ll love this macaroni pie, which kicks things into overdrive!
It uses tubed macaroni noodles, lots of cheese, herbs and spices, onions, ketchup and yellow mustard!
Much like bubble and squeak, pudding and souse is a perfect way of making sure that everything gets used up.
‘Pudding’ refers to pounded sweet potatoes mixed with onion, salt and pepper, stuffed into pig intestine like a sausage and the ‘souse’ is made up from various pickled parts of pigs such as the feet, snout and ears.
This filling snack consists of flour, coconut, spices, sugar and pumpkin, all wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.
While traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, they’re now more closely associated with Barbados’ Independence Day celebrations.
This strange looking fruit can be found growing all around the island and can be prepared in a number of different ways, whether it be boiled, baked, crushed or made into chips.
Rum punch is popular around the Caribbean, but we believe Bajan rum is the best! The recipe is remembered using the rhyme: "One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak. A dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice, serve well chilled with plenty of ice.”
This stew-like dish uses various meats such as pork, beef and mutton, seasoned with spices and peppers for that extra kick, then served with rice or bread and butter.
Believe it or not, this dish is actually said to have been derived from haggis and is made up of crushed pigeon peas, mixed up with pork, beef, peppers, corn, onions, thyme and sometimes okra.
It’s actually a popular Christmas dish in Barbados, and particularly popular with the older generation.
This popular drink comes from tree bark and is brewed with a number of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
While it’s sold in shops, there are many locals who continue to make their own, although be warned, it does have a very bitter taste!
Don’t be alarmed, if it doesn’t look much like cheese, that’s because it isn’t! It’s actually a cranberry jelly which has a soft consistency and is sometimes spread on salt bread.
Mahi Mahi is also known as dolphinfish, usually served pan-seared or blackened along with some spicy lentils, rice or fries.
As you can see, for such a small island, Barbados is home to some amazing culinary delights, and while you can try and make them yourselves with the recipes we’ve provided, what better way to experience them than visit for yourself?
So why not get in touch with us here at Royal Westmoreland and book you dream Barbados holiday or start the wheels in motion on buying your own villa today?