Bajan cuisine is all about well-seasoned flavours and hearty home cooking. If you love fresh seafood, you'll be spoilt for choice with something different to try every day. Local fishermen bring home snapper, flying fish, yellow fin tuna, dolphin fish (or mahi mahi), barracuda, wahoo (or king fish), bill fish, chubb, and plenty of shellfish. The most common way to serve any seafood is to season it, coat it in eggs and breadcrumbs, and fry it. Holidays in Barbados bring fine dining too; the two most famous restaurants are The Cliff (on the west coast) and The Restaurant at South Sea (on the south coast).
So well-loved they are considered Barbados’ national dish, cutters are large flying fish sandwiches. They are often served with a side of coucou, a cornmeal dish seasoned with okra and topped with a spicy blend of tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Also known as cohobblopot, this hearty favourite is a stew of oxtail, beef or pork simmered for days in rich, spicy gravy.
Bajans take pride in their flavoursome food, so herbs and spices are important. The favourite blend is Bajan seasoning, a mixture of parsley, basil, thyme, marjoram, paprika, cloves, black pepper, salt, onions, spring onion and garlic.
Whether you’re on the street or on the beach, you won’t have to go far for quick eats when you’re feeling peckish. Vendors offer snacks like barbecued pig tails, fresh coconut and roasted peanuts as well as more filling options, usually made with fish or chicken. Every Friday night, the Oistins Fish Fry (on the south coast) is the place to be. A tourist attraction in its own right, this market come street party sells delicious fresh fish cooked Bajan style. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh, and cooked right in front of you.
You’ll find these all over Barbados, especially at the famous fish fries. Bajan fishcakes are made with salted cod, which is seasoned in herbs and spices, mixed with flour and then deep fried. They are often eaten with thick salt bread, in a sandwich known as ‘bread and two’.
Traditionally eaten on Independence Day in November, there’s no stopping Bajans eating these tasty parcels every other day of the year too. Conkies are a blend of cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, sweet potato, raisins and spices steamed inside a banana leaf.