Bajan Favourites: Local Cuisine

Every coun­try has spe­cific local dishes that epit­o­mize and reflect cul­ture and tra­di­tion. This is no dif­fer­ent in the Caribbean, and as such, much of the local cui­sine on islands such as Bar­ba­dos are found in almost any restau­rant. Here are some of the favourite local dishes of Bar­ba­di­ans and the rea­sons behind their choices:

Cou Cou with Salt Fish/​Flying Fish
Cou Cou with fly­ing fish is the national dish of Bar­ba­dos and is made from corn meal and okra. Cou Cou is not reserved for spe­cial occa­sions per se, but is much more preva­lent across the island around the month of Novem­ber as inde­pen­dence approaches. Not sur­pris­ingly, it is a huge favourite among the locals:

This meal has more than flavour, it has feel­ing. Noth­ing like a good plate of Cou Cou swim­ming in gravy with a side of cucum­ber on a Sat­ur­day after­noon. All you could do after that is unbut­ton your pants, turn on the fan and go to sleep. Proper Bajan com­fort food. – Kemar

Cou Cou has an awe­some taste and it rep­re­sents Bajan Cul­ture. – Dave

Very tasty dish. I first had it when my grand­mother made it in her kitchen so it brings back mem­o­ries of good times and fam­ily. Tuna is my pre­ferred fish to use with Cou Cou. – Ryan

Very tasty. – Maria

Has a great taste…if made cor­rectly. Cou Cou is like the essence of the Bar­ba­dian iden­tity. – Faith

This is my favourite just because of how my mother makes it. Plus, I love some roasted Chicken at the side. – Tuan

I love Cou Cou and salt fish because it is heaven in bowl. Winn

I like old peo­ple food plus I love okras. – Nico­lette

Like Cou Cou, Conkies is another local treat made from corn­meal and a blend of other ingre­di­ents that is syn­ony­mous with Bajan cul­ture. Although orig­i­nally pre­pared for Guy Fawkes Day, Conkies became asso­ci­ated with the inde­pen­dence of Bar­ba­dos and as such, are plen­ti­ful around the month of Novem­ber. How­ever, as has become tra­di­tional of late, Conkies are sold at var­i­ous loca­tions and by street venders all year round.

Love the taste and it rep­re­sents Bajan Cul­ture. – Dave

Conkies just taste soooo good. – Drew

Conkies remind me so much of home. They are def­i­nitely rep­re­sen­ta­tive of “being Bar­ba­dian– Faith

Bakes are greatly loved among Bar­ba­di­ans, espe­cially since they are easy to make. Although there are many vari­a­tions to mak­ing bakes, most per­sons use pri­mar­ily 4 ingre­di­ents: water, sugar, flour and spice. Bakes are ver­sa­tile as they can be used for break­fast in com­bi­na­tion with salt fish, or sim­ply as a stand­alone treat.

Although I haven’t had them in for­ever, these are def­i­nitely my favourite since they taste sooo good.Andrew

Love the sweet­ness. Def­i­nitely one of my all-​time favourites!Michael

Mac­a­roni Pie
Macaroni pie
Mac­a­roni pie is not as indige­nously Bar­ba­dian as some of the other dishes and treats on this list but is very pop­u­lar across the island. This dish can be found basi­cally any­where across the island, from small scale to more upscale restau­rants. Mac­a­roni pie is much more than sim­ply baked mac and cheese. It includes many “Bajan” ingre­di­ents and has steadily become a sig­na­ture dish across the island.

Mac­a­roni pie is a true favourite of mine, espe­cially when it’s hot, steamy and cheesy straight from the oven onto my plate on a Sun­day after­noon or any day for that mat­ter. Shak

Mac­a­roni pie with a side of chicken is just awe­some. I love that it can be found at almost any event and even some restau­rants. Lemar

Pud­ding and Souse
Pud­ding and Souse is a pop­u­lar Sat­ur­day after­noon del­i­cacy made of pork, sweet potato pud­ding, herbs and pick­led cucum­ber and can be found at any restau­rant across the island on this day especially.

Pud­ding and souse is def­i­nitely a favourite of mine. The taste is just sooo awe­some. Kim

I love it cuz it just tastes so great. – Adrian

Jug Jug
Jug jug
Jug Jug is a dish pri­mar­ily seen on the Christ­mas table in Bar­ba­dos. It is a side dish made from pigeon peas and a vari­ety of meats, herbs, spices and other ingredients.

It is every­thing I love in one. Plus, it goes well with my sec­ond favourite dish which is green peas and rice. Stephen

I think it’s pretty unique and spe­cial and has a strong flavour. – Mario

Have you tried any of these local dishes? If not, judg­ing from these responses, you are miss­ing out. When you visit restau­rants across the island, make an inquiry about these and other local dishes and expe­ri­ence a lit­tle piece of Bar­ba­dian cul­ture through its won­der­ful local cuisine.

© Photo 1 taken from Brown​sug​ar​bar​ba​dos​.net
© Photo 2 taken from Jal​bar​ba​dos​.com
© Photo 3 taken from Word​press​.com
© Photo 4 taken from Pin​ter​est​.com
© Photo 5 taken from Com​putech​sup​portbb​.com
© Photo 6 taken from Stabroeknews​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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