“Gawblummah’…Buh’baydus got a ‘mobo-ton o’ food yuh!” Barbados lauds itself as being the culinary capital of the Caribbean and history shows us, that this is definitely not new to us.
Once the British settlers were placed in the Barbados pot, blended with Africans, sprinkled with Amerindians from the South American coast, seasoned with Europe, India, China and the Middle East: cooking immediately was added to the equation resulting in the deliciousness of Bajan Cuisine. Huge sugar cane plantations appeared, sugar was King and planters were rich. Quality food imports filled the ports. Plantation kitchens baked, preserved, boiled, stewed and roasted everything edible. Rum was no longer the brew of pirates but a gentleman’s drink. As towns boomed, a sort of ruthless abandon took over and a social order set, placing a strong stamp on the island’s culinary delights. Tropical English food was born. The slaves, free slaves and the lower classes, however, had their own boiling pots over wood fires, the ingreasements being their home-ingredients that made amazing creole foods called ‘privilege’ whose aromas still ‘confuffle’. Coucou and jug jug pounded in mortar pestles kept bellies good, the unwanted parts from butcherings bring a while new meaning to chicken, cow and pig appendages.
Today, the island boasts its own particular sweetness of flavours and has a rich and extensive selection of cuisines available to satisfy every palate and every pocket.
Excerpts for this section were taken from Barbados Bu’n Bu’n by Rosemary Parkinson
Five must-try traditional dishes
Rosemary Parkinson was born in Venezuela of Trinidadian parents. Barbados Bu’n-Bu’n took some four years to put together, it is a two-volumed book packaged in a stunning case – a culinary ride of the island, parish by parish where she met the people, heard their stories, chatted about the history, culture and traditions of the island. Launched at Henley Literary Festival, Henley on Thames, England (2015) and Miami International Book Fair USA (2015) it has been a labour of love.