Every country has specific local dishes that reflect their culture and tradition. This is no different in the Caribbean, and as such, much of the local cuisine in islands such as Barbados are found in almost any restaurant. Some of these dishes are more favoured by persons for a variety of reasons. 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 vendors 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 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 up of pork, sweet potato pudding, herbs and pickled cucumber and can be found at any restaurant across the island on Saturdays 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 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.