The proliferation of eateries, which run the gamut from fine dining restaurants and fast food establishments to assorted “holes in the wall,” and street food vendors, testify to the variety of edible offerings to be had on the island. Whether the meal is served on a china plate, in a Pyrex dish or comes wrapped in an intriguing banana leaf, you’ll be blown away by the taste, texture, flavour and the spices – all prerequisites for a satisfying dining experience.
This is what makes Barbados the perfect place to visit for a superbly varied gastronomical adventure. When you indulge in our street food, you’ll be getting to know us through the vendors and the other patrons, and you’ll be on your way to discovering the heart and soul of Barbados.
Here’s just a small sample of what you’re likely to discover by way of Bajan delicacies and street food in Barbados:
Bakes: A fried “muffin” made from flour, sugar and salt. Usually paired with fishcakes.
Bread & Two: Salt bread stuffed with two fishcakes.
Cassava Pone: A heavy, moist “bread” made from grated cassava, pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut, sugar, nutmeg, butter and milk. (Carrots and raisins are optional).
Conkie: Moistened coconut, pumpkin, corn flour, sugar and spices wrapped in a banana leaf, boiled and served. (Raisins and cherries are optional).
Coucou & Flying Fish: Our national dish made from a combination of okra and cornmeal mixed with pepper, salt and Bajan hot sauce. The flying fish is either steamed or fried. Other varieties of fish may be used depending on your preference or the availability of flying fish.
Cutters: Sandwiches comprising of salt bread filled with cheese, egg, fish or ham.
Fishcakes: Fried cod fish balls with flour, pepper and other seasonings.
Ginger Beer: A soft drink similar to ginger ale, but with a stronger taste of ginger.
Guava Cheese: Sweet, firm candied jelly made from the guava fruit and cut into squares.
Macaroni Pie: A cheesy macaroni casserole.
Mauby: A drink made from a buckthorn bark, Colubrina elliptica. It is boiled with sugar and spices, and may or may not include vanilla essence and Angostura bitters to help balance the otherwise bitter aftertaste. It is said to be an acquired taste almost like root beer.
Nut Cakes: Confectionary incorporating boiled sugar with peanuts stirred in, dropped by the spoonful onto a tray / flat surface and left to harden.
Pig Tails: Exactly what it sounds like - usually barbequed.
Plus: A refreshing local soft drink. Call for it anywhere.
Pudding and Souse: Pudding is a spicy dish made of pig intestines stuffed with seasoned sweet potato and colouring. Souse is made from any part of the pig (but mainly it’s head and feet) boiled and pickled with lime juice, cucumber, onion, parsley, salt and pepper.
Rice and Stew: Usually rice with peas (dry peas, black-eyed peas, kidney peas etc.) covered with a thick, spicy beef, pork or lamb stew cooked with carrots and potatoes.
Roti: Not strictly a Bajan dish, but one that you’re likely to encounter nevertheless. Curried chicken, beef, goat, shrimp, chick peas, or vegetables wrapped in what can be described at a soft flatbread.
Salt Bread: A bun resembling a giant dinner roll, although not as smooth.
Sugar Cakes: Confectionary incorporating grated coconut boiled with sugar and spice (molasses optional) dropped by the spoonful onto a tray / flat surface and left to harden.
Tamarind Balls: Confectionary incorporating the pulp of the tamarind fruit rolled in sugar, with or without black pepper.