Barbados was ‘claimed’ by Britain around 400 years ago, and was settled by English colonists and their African slaves. As such, the culture and cuisine on the island is a mixture of British and West African.
The Barbadian, or Bajan national dish is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish. Other popular dishes include fried fish cakes, souse (a pickled pork dish) and macaroni pie (as featured in our meal from Antigua and Barbuda). Other side dishes include plantain, sweet potato and yam.
For our Bajan meal, I decided to make fried fish, baked plantain and macaroni pie. Sadly, Flying Fish was unavailable in the Chester branch of M+S (!) so we settled for fillets for Sea Bream instead.
I know I’ve made macaroni pie before but it did seem like such a typical Barbadian side dish, served along-side many foods and especially from street vendors. It’s also a lovely calorific comfort food; great for cold autumnal evenings. I used the recipe from the Loop Barbados website. It’s so nice! More set than normal macaroni cheese, flavoured with mustard, onion and tomato.
We did manage to source some Plantain from an African and Caribbean shop on Brook Street in Chester. I sliced them into ½ inch thick wedges, gave them a quick spritz of oil and baked them for about 10 minutes at 175⁰c
The fish recipe was taken from the Barbados Today website. Our fish fillets were marinated in lime juice for a few minutes and then rubbed in salt, garlic, chives, onion, marjoram, hot sauce and cayenne pepper. We then dipped them in flour, then egg then gave them a crispy crumb and fried them off. All in all, a delicious meal!
To accompany the meal we had a bottle of Super Malt; a non-alcoholic energy drink very popular across the Caribbean. It tasted like liquidised, carbonated Soreen! Not bad, but not something I’d have again.
A popular dessert is baked custard. This was made from a can of condensed milk, ¾ cup of evaporated milk, 3 beaten eggs, 1tsp sugar, 1tsp vanilla and 1tsp grated ginger mixed together and baked at 175⁰c for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. It is meant to be cooled and cut into slices but I’m afraid it didn’t last that long!