Barbados Eat and drink Travel

Food You Must Try In Barbados

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One of the best ways to experience a new country is through your stomach. I’m often transported back to places where I’ve travelled just by the smell of something cooking, spotting the dish on a menu or even watching an advert and drooling on my phone screen. Indulging in calorific treats (in the name of research, ahem), sampling local produce and dining at the must-visit restaurants or cafes, all help you get a feel for the country that you’re in.

If you don’t come back from your travels with your waistband a little tighter, then you, my friend, are doing it wrong.

Is it just me or does certain food taste so much better when you eat it abroad? My dad has a theory that many food items don’t travel, that they should be enjoyed only in the place where they originate from (usually in the sun with a beer). I have to agree that he may be right on this.

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If you’re planning a trip to the gorgeous island of Barbados, then here are my must-eat dishes:

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Macaroni Pie

I always thought that mac’n’cheese was an all American classic but, it turns out, it’s also a staple side dish in Barbados. Creamy, cheesy and stodgy but with a golden crisped topping, macaroni pie (known as pie) is served in huge hunks and amazingly seems to go with meat, fish and salad.

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Pudding and Souse

I’d heard that this is as well-loved on the island as roast dinners are in the UK, a weekly dish that pretty much uses all the leftovers to create a flavoursome meal, albeit with some questionable ingredients. The souse is traditionally pickled pig’s trotters, ears, snouts and tongue but nowadays many use lean pork meat instead. The pudding is steamed sweet potato and can be served with bread fruit (it looks like a mango and tastes likes potato – very confusing for the brain!).

In the parishes, people make up large batches of the stuff and sell them from their front doors to passing hungry locals every Saturday morning. I bravely knocked on the door of a sweet Bajan grandma who invited me into her kitchen to see her prepare the dish before I got to taste it. This was such a treat, even if she did seem a little confused why this smiling girl was taking photographs of everything she was doing.

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Fishcakes

Another fish dish seen on many menus in Barbados is fish cakes, however they weren’t like any fishcakes that I’d tasted before. These small balls of doughy, chewy salt cod are battered and dipped in bajan pepper sauce (this stuff knocks your socks off so proceed with caution). Seen as the ultimate comfort food and also served at breakfast, which is one way to start your day I guess.

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Fish – ALL the fish!

I thought I was up on my seafood dishes after living in a small fishing town in France but I felt like a newbie in Barbados. From mahi mahi, to kingfish to meaty swordfish and red snapper you can get them all and more.

Head to Oistins fish fry for the best fishy treat, sit on a long plastic table next to strangers soaking up the atmosphere and indulging in the freshest fish cooked in front of you at a roasting barbecue. The spicy rub they add is just to die for.

Of course, all these dishes have to be washed down with a bottle of crisp cold beer or a cheeky drop of rum. Well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

Next time you’re travelling go for the dish you can’t pronounce (but have a jolly good bash at saying it to the waiter anyway), try and stomach whatever it is on your plate that looks inedible but everyone says you must try, and basically challenge your taste buds. After all, you may never get the chance to sample this food again.

{Psst – There’s only 3 days left to enter my travel competition! Click here to find out more, good luck!}

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