A report from Travel Pulse.
With the rise of food travel taking prominence in the last few years – culinaires will delight in Barbados, known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Barbados proudly boasts this accolade with thanks to the cultural influences of Africa, Caribbean, West Indies and Europe, which are felt (or tasted) richly in traditional Bajan dishes.
To help further the destination’s delightful reputation, Barbados is also known as the birthplace of rum, with a history that dates back hundreds of years.
Barbados’ culinary fusion paired with an unmatched art of rum distillery makes the destination a front-runner in foodie experiences, and while the saying “the best things in life take time” holds true for rum, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wait until the Barbados Food and Rum Festival to experience the legendary spirit or acclaimed culinary flair.
Bajan in Your Kitchen
When you’re in Barbados, the most flavourful experiences often come from street vendors – most notable the fish cutter. The beauty of street food is that there are no frills – simply grab a seat and let the pure bliss of flavour unfold.
For a sit-down meal, unforgettable dishes like Cou-Cou and Flying Fish, the island’s national dish, is a must-try. Barbados is known as the ‘Land of the Flying Fish’, these elusive fish (that soar over the water up to 200 feet) became engrained in the island’s culture as Barbadian’s finessed the skill of de-boning and curating a variety of delightful dishes! Taking a shot at a recipe for the national dish is one way to bring the quintessential Bajan taste of Barbados home.
A Special Spirit History
Barbados’ unique ties to rum began with Mount Gay Rum Distillery in 1703. Mount Gay is the world’s oldest rum-making producer, having mastered the art of expertly distilling the spirit over the years. What makes Mount Gay Rum so exceptional? Not only is it crafted from rich sugar cane, but the special ingredient is the pristine coral-filtered water that is drawn directly from the island. Taste a bit of history one sip at a time through one of Mount Gay’s cocktail recipes ranging from seasonal to classics.
A unique distillery with strong ties to Barbados’ history is St. Nicholas Abbey, which produces small-batch unblended rums – including cane syrup rum, which isn’t produced anywhere else in Barbados – that mellow in oak casks for five to eighteen years. And bringing the rum-focused Barbadian history lesson full-circle – Foursquare Rum Factory and Heritage Park, tucked away in the southern countryside on eight acres of a former sugar plantation. This local distillery provides a more modernized take on Barbados’ fine spirit, well known for its collection of rums, producing a wide range including the highly favoured Doorly’s, Old Brigand and E.S.A. Field.
While there’s nothing quite like enjoying rum punch on the beach, it’s possible to get a taste of paradise with the classic Rum Punch recipe from TotallyBarbados.com (and make it a true Barbadian experience by playing dominoes as it’s done across the island’s rum shops).
How Barbados Brings it All Together
With food and rum evidently playing such an integral part in the destination’s identity, each year Barbados hosts world-renowned chefs and mixologists to celebrate the island’s unique culinary scene through a series of events and festivities at Barbados Food and Rum Festival.