Foods from Bar­ba­dos You MUST Know

There are some foods that are sta­ples of spe­cific coun­tries. Every coun­try has its own National Dish, but out­side of this, there are some foods; even though they aren’t orig­i­nally from the spe­cific place, that have over time come to define the food cul­ture of that spe­cific coun­try. For Bar­ba­dos, this sit­u­a­tion is no dif­fer­ent. Here are 15 foods from Bar­ba­dos that you MUST know, whether you are a tourist or a local. For the tourist, this arti­cle gives a glimpse of the foods you should def­i­nitely try on your visit to the island. For the locals, it gives a glimpse of the most favored foods in Bar­ba­dos and if you don’t know them, or never had them, then you cer­tainly are not a Bajan!

cou-cou Cou Cou

Cou Cou forms half of the National Dish of Bar­ba­dos and is made pri­mar­ily from corn­meal and okra. It can be served with any type of meat, but Bajans pre­fer steamed or fried fly­ing fish.

flying fish Fly­ing Fish

The sec­ond half of the National Dish of Bar­ba­dos, fly­ing fish, is a major part of Bajan her­itage. Sea­soned with rich Bajan sea­son­ing, this fish can be pre­pared a vari­ety of ways (like most fish), but the pre­ferred Bajan way is either fried, or rolled pricked with a tooth­pick and steamed in gravy.

pudding-and-souse1 Pud­ding and Souse

A favorite on Sat­ur­days, Pud­ding and Souse is loved most by Bajans who pride them­selves “pork mouts” (lovers of pork). The dark pud­ding of this dish is made from mashed sweet pota­toes and spices, either steamed or rolled and stuffed into a pig intes­tine and steamed. The souse is essen­tially dif­fer­ent parts of the pig cooked. For exam­ple, the feet, snout or the ears and is pick­led with a mix­ture of cucum­ber, pars­ley, onions and sweet pep­pers and served with bread­fruit on the side.

conkies-2 Conkies

Conkies are made by com­bin­ing corn flour, coconut, spices, sugar, pump­kin and, depend­ing on pref­er­ence, raisins. This mix­ture is wrapped in foil or tra­di­tion­ally banana leaf and steamed and is a favorite specif­i­cally around Inde­pen­dence time.

black cake1 Black Cake/​Rum Cake/​Great Cake

Bajans refer to this par­tic­u­lar del­i­cacy by three dif­fer­ent names, but the most pop­u­lar name is Black Cake. This is made like a reg­u­lar cake, but with the addi­tion of dried, blended fruits such as raisins, cher­ries and prunes, Bajan essence and, of course, a splash of Bajan Rum.

barbados-fish-cakes1 Fish­cakes

Made from a com­bi­na­tion of salt (cod) fish, spices, sea­son­ing and flour, these fried delights can be used at any time of the day. They are best served in bread (see below) but can also be dipped in your favorite sauce and used as is.

Bread n two Bread ‘N Two

Two fish cakes in one ol’ fash­ioned salt bread with the option of slice of cheese and you have a deli­cious lit­tle snack to tide you over for a few hours. It is a favorite, espe­cially as a quick meal on the way to work for Bajans.

bajan bakes Bakes

Bakes are mini pan­cakes that are slightly big­ger than fish cakes. They are made with flour, salt and water, and some­times bak­ing pow­der is added to give a lit­tle rise and a more cir­cu­lar shape to them as they fry. They are also known around Bar­ba­dos as muffins and are eaten by them­selves or with stir-​fried salt fish, or with fish cakes.

sweet bread Sweet Bread

Sweet bread is also com­monly referred to by Bajans as coconut bread. It is made from a com­bi­na­tion of coconut, sugar, raisins and dried cher­ries, and baked just like a stan­dard loaf of bread is. Also, sweet­ened coconut is placed inside the bread for an even sweeter taste.

fish cutter Cut­ters

These are sand­wiches make with ol’ fash­ioned salt breads served (most pop­u­larly) with cheese, ham, egg or fish (or any pre­ferred meat). This sand­wich can be gar­nished with let­tuce, cucum­ber, tomato and Bajan pep­per sauce.

macaroni-pie Bajan Mac­a­roni Pie

Bajan mac­a­roni pie is made with elbows or tubed mac­a­roni noo­dles, mixed with cheese, herbs, spices, onion, ketchup and some­times mus­tard and may­on­naise. Placed in a dish and topped with a sprin­kled of bread­crumbs. This meal is baked in the oven and served with (most pop­u­larly) chicken or fish.

jug-jug Jug Jug

This is another com­bi­na­tion dish made from peas, meat (pork, beef or both), hot pep­per, corn, onions and thyme and is most pop­u­lar with the older gen­er­a­tion. It is mostly seen around Christ­mas time and is served with ham.

sea-egg Sea-​Eggs

Sea eggs are a species of sea urchins found on the floor of the ocean. They can be served raw or stewed. For most, this is an acquired taste.

cassava-pone-13-505x3361 Cas­sava Pone

Cas­sava pone, as the name implies, is a cas­sava based, soft, gummy like cake. It is only mildly sweet and can be fur­ther sweet­ened through the addi­tion of raisins.

salt bread Olé Fash­ioned Salt Bread

Ask any Bajan and they would tell you that there is noth­ing like a good ol’ fash­ioned salt bread. This type of bread can be used with vir­tu­ally any­thing and is best served straight from the oven when it is warm and soft.


These 15 foods/​dishes are sta­ples in Bar­ba­dian soci­ety and must be tried on any visit to Bar­ba­dos. Each of these offers a lit­tle taste of Bajan cul­ture and if you have tried all of these, then you are well versed in Bajan food culture.

© Photo 1,2,7,8 & 9 taken from Pin​img​.com
© Photo 3 taken from Com​putech​sup​portbb​.com
© Photo 4 taken from Pin​ter​est​.com
© Photo 5 taken from Bar​ba​doswelove​.com
© Photo 6 taken from Bajan​de​lights​.com
© Photo 10 taken from Bajan​rumshop​.com
© Photo 11 taken from​Bougainvil​lear​e​sort​.com
© Photo 12 taken from Stabroeknews​.com
© Photo 13 taken from Bar​ba​dospock​et​guide​.com
© Photo 14 & 15 taken from Caribean​pot​.com

© Arti­cle of Caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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