Barbadian cuisine (sometimes also called “Bajan” cuisine) can be best described as a combination of British, Indian, Portugese, Spanish, and West African influences. Slaves from West Africa, shipped to Barbados in the 1600’s brought with them culinary preferences and methods that became very influential in what we now of today as traditional Barbadian cuisine.
A common main meal in Barbados will include a main entree of seafood or meat. The seafood or meat will typically be marinated with a combination of spices and herbs. A full meal will also include one or two cold salads, and several hot side dishes. Sauces are very popular in Barbados, and one or several of them will be served as mealtime condiments.
Barbados is known for its national dish: Cou-Cou and fried Flying Fish, with a hot and spicy gravy. A favorite dessert is a filled pastry pie, called “Gizzarda”. A dish of spiced sweet potatoes and pickled pork, “Pudding and Souse”, is another traditional meal.
Traditional Foods in Barbadian Cuisine
Traditional Barbadian cuisine dishes are prepared with African, Indian, and the other European types of ingredients, seasoned with locally grown herbs and spices.
Commonly used herbs are parsley, thyme, basil, marjoram and garlic. Spices most often used are black pepper, salt, cloves and paprika.
Asparagus and okra are locally grown and abundant, so they are very often typical vegetables used in recipes. More often than not, they are cooked just enough to slightly soften them, then drizzled with a combination of melted butter mixed with freshly squeezed lime juice.
Barbadian dishes often make use of the abundantly available seafood. Fish, such as snapper, mahi-mahi, barracuda and yellow-fin tuna are often found on the dinner table in Barbados.
The British started growing sugar cane in Barbados in the 1600s, and it has grown into a major cash crop for the country in modern times. So much so that, after exportation, there is plenty left over to satisfy the Barbadians’ very sweet sweet teeth. Popular traditional sweet treats are chocolate fudge, peanut brittle, guava cheese and tamarind balls. Favorite desserts include gizzarda, lemon meringue pie, coconut bread, and Bajan baked custard.
Below is a list of dishes from the little sovereign nation on the island of Barbados. Click on the recipes, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with just that recipe on it. Off you go now, into the tasty land of …
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