POPSUGAR Celebrity

Get a Taste of the Traditional Cuisine of Barbados

Dec 3 2010 - 8:00am

While I enjoyed amazing bites [1] from some of the world's most [2] prestigious [3] chefs [4], my favorite meal at the Food & Wine and Rum Festival [5] in Barbados was a traditional buffet that featured local cuisine. The brunch buffet was created by Peter Edey [6], arguably Barbados' most celebrated chef and the host of five different local cooking shows. Here, you'll get a taste of Edey's take on Bajan favorites: flying fish, macaroni pie, and more.

Rum Punch

The unofficial drink of the island is rum punch. When I asked one bartender how it's made he said, "you take some rum and give it a punch!" There's no official recipe, and everyone makes their own version. Ingredients include but aren't limited to: rum, grenadine, lime juice, bitters, Hawaiian punch juice, and nutmeg.

Pickled Green Bananas

I wasn't sure if the pickling trend had made its way to Barbados or if this dish has been around forever. No matter the history, it tasted really good! The unripe bananas have a hard texture that works well with the tangy pickling juice.

Brown Rice

Rice, a staple in so many parts of the world, is consumed in large quantities by Bajans.

Macaroni Pie

When I asked locals what the signature dish of Barbados was, everyone said: macaroni pie. This thick dish is similar to macaroni and cheese but with a more prominent milk flavor and less cheese. It was so rich and creamy, I went back for seconds!

Sweet Potatoes

Bajans prefer their sweet potatoes thick sliced and soft in the center.


Cassava is a super starchy root that is native to South America. It's grown in subtropical climates like Barbados and tastes kind of like a potato.

Fried Flying Fish

Flying fish, a fish that actually skims the surface of the ocean's water, is the official fish of Barbados. The most traditional preparation? Fried! This lightly-fried, flaky fish has a mild flavor and takes well to seasoning.

Rum With Juices

What do the bartenders make when they run out of rum punch? Rum with juices! An exotic concoction that combines Mount Gay with a selection of fruit juices.

Fruit in Syrup

For dessert, Bajans enjoy fruit in sugar syrup.

Dessert Tamale

I'm not sure of the Bajan name of this dessert tamale, but the filling, a thick custard that resembled the inside of pumpkin pie, was steamed in a banana leaf.

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