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Barbados - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Barbadian Cuisine HistoryEdit

Barbados is situated between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela. The island was first inhabited by the Portuguese in 1625 and then by British, exactly since 1627, which brought slaves to work the sugar plantations. Barbados remained a British colony until 1966 when it became independent. Barbados cuisine combines various international cuisines such as African, Chinese, Caribbean, West Indian and European. Due to the fact that the island is surrounded by water, the main source of protein is fish and seafood. The surrounding waters offers a wide variety of fish including red Snapper, shark, kingfish, salt fish, bill fish, tuna, salmon mackerel, cod fish, barracuda and dolphin as well as shrimps, lobsters and crabs. Other seafood delicacies are sea urchin and flying fish. Favored by the humid soil, Barbados is heavy on exotic fruits such as kiwi, papaya, bananas, pineapples and also various vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic and celery.

Cuisines of Barbados Edit

Map of Barbados

Map of Barbados- Click to enlarge

Barbados cuisine is characterized as Caribbean cuisine with influences borrowed from the international cuisine. Barbados national dish is cou-cou and flying fish. Coucou is a Barbados recipe which derives from African cuisine and it comes in a variety of types such as green banana cou-cou, breadfruit cou-cou. Cou-cou is normally served along with okra and fried flying fish. Barbadian cuisine also offers a large variety of meats such as rabbit, duck, ham, pork, chicken, lamb, beef, turkey and veal; meat is served fried, curried, pickled, grilled, roasted and baked. Barbadians like spicy meals and they have numerous spicy sauces used for flavoring the dishes; their special sauce is called “hot sauce”. East Indian elements are obvious in Barbadian cuisine by the numerous dishes which include roasted ingredients such as roasted fish, roasted chicken, roasted beef served generally with potatoes. Some of the traditional dishes include rice and peas, macaroni pie, pudding and souse, yam pie, sweet potato pie, scalloped potatoes, garlic baked potatoes, rice and spinach, pelau, chow mein, mashed potato and pepper pot.

Preparation Methods for Barbadian Cooking Edit

In the Barbados cuisine there are used elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Barbadian cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Barbadian cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The variety of vegetables and cereals found in Barbadian is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Barbados’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Barbadian dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Barbadian Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers and portioners, food pans and food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets and accessories, the Barbadian cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Barbadian dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Barbadian food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups and measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers and strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Barbadian Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Barbados national holidays include New Year’s Day (January 1), Errol Barrow Day (January 21), Heroes’ Day (April 28), Labor Day (May 1), Emancipation Day ( August 1), Kadooment day (August 7), Independence Day( November 30), Christmas Day ( December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26). On national holidays people from Barbados prefer to eat traditional dishes such as cou-cou and flying fish served hot with a side dish of okra. Other delicious dishes served on national holidays are barbecued pigtails, fish melts, fried chicken gizzards, fried chicken livers, and sea eggs.

People in Barbadian Food Edit

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There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Barbadian dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Barbadian chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking dishes that go back in time for centuries or brand new, modern dishes, Barbadian chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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