I'm just here for the rum...
Dreamy Caribbean beaches, Rihanna and rum. Those were the first things I associated with the holiday island of Barbados.
The oldest rum in the world, Mount Gay, is found here. However, it wasn't just the rum-laden drinks that made it easy for us to like the island.
Barbados is considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean and offers a wide range of different taste experiences.
If you want to know more about the country and why we could even imagine living here for a year, listen to my podcast episode: (coming soon...!)
Classics of the local cuisine:
I was surprised. Positively surprised. Because the choice of excellent food and great restaurants in Barbados - compared to many other island groups in the Antilles - is outstandingly large. That's why the country has the reputation of being the "gastronomic capital of the Caribbean". Officially, flying fish is the national dish of Barbados. During our trip, however, I came across the following dishes that were at least as popular among the locals.
Here is a small selection of delicacies:
Main Dish: Flying Fish with Cou-Cou (=kind of polenta semolina), Hot Pepper Pot, Pudding N'Souse (=pudding consists of steamed sweet potatoes with pork), Macaroni Casserole, Fish Cake, Cutters (=sandwich with baked/fried fish, cheese, ham and salad) Dessert: Coconut Bread, seasonal fruits like mango or papaya
Drinks: Rum cocktails (My highlight: Rum Punch!)
Besides fish, chicken, rice and vegetables, rum is of course everyone's favourite on the island. The rum, that's why I'm here. At least as legendary as the rum are the shops where the distillates are sold. It is estimated that there are over 1500 rum shops on the island. A bar? A feature of the landscape? A place where the culture is maintained.
What fascinated me more on site than the rum? Seasonal fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, it was not the mango season, but I was able to get my hands on the papayas ;)
An absolute highlight: Breadfruit = breadfruit. It looks like a fruit, tastes a bit like bread and has so many nutrients that it's almost hard to keep track. Lots of fibre and the vegetable is also rich in vitamin C. Usually you cook the breadfruit and use it for savoury dishes. It is possible to try them as crispy-thin and light breadfruit chips - a treat that even the locals queue up for.
We had a grilled breadfruit with lobster & fish. Various notes of African, European, Caribbean and West Indian cuisine joined in. A wild culinary and extremely tasty mix, which is why I stay here.
Another reason to stay? The government has launched a visa that allows travellers to stay on the island for a year. With the Welcome Stamp Visa, the country wants to mitigate the effects of the Corona pandemic. Learn more about it in the podcast. 😉
Michaelas-Must-Try: So far, I have rarely dared to try Caribbean cuisine. Only my stew with plantains has a Caribbean cooking flair.
The country has the reputation of being the "Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean".
Michaelas Video-Message: In my TikTok video you can see a short summary of our stay.
F&B offer: Whether in bars, rum shops, food trucks or fine dining establishments: There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy good food.
Meal times Breakfast (6:00 - 7:00): Savoury dishes such as nuggets, hamburgers, sausages or egg dishes are typical. Mittag (12:00 - 14:00): After a hearty breakfast, a sandwich or salad is often enough. Abendessen (from 17:00): Generally, a main course consists of fish or meat accompanied by rice, vegetables and sauces.
Price-performance ratio: Compared to other Caribbean regions, the standard of living is rather high and the crime rate low. This explains the relatively expensive local prices. Only rum is cheap here ;) Cappuccino in Amsterdam ca. 4 Eur. Cappuccino on Barbados ca. 5 Eur.
Striking on site:
Fish is eaten on the island on Fridays and the Friday Night Fish Fry at the fish market near Oistins is a real experience.
The dishes here are super excitingly spiced. Onions, chilli, cumin, coriander, marjoram, basil, parsley, thyme, ginger, black pepper, garlic and lime are all used.
We spent the first nights on the eastern side of the island, where the sea is a bit rougher. The resort is picturesque and located in the south-east of the island. A real tip for all surfers! ...and for all those who want to combine holiday and work. It's a wonderful place to stay. I was particularly impressed by the chef and her great restaurant, which also attracts many external guests.
......here we not only had delicious & relatively cheap Pina Coladas at Happy Hour! We enjoyed our first breadfruit in a cool atmosphere - a unique experience! Late at night it's very busy here and a reservation is recommended.
A very trendy spot on the island. Even if the food doesn't stand out, the location right on the beach does. The cocktails are also excellent and we had a great stay there.
· My conclusion: I came for the rum. I enjoyed the wild, international mix of flavours, and as I reminisce, I will think of the enormous hospitality of the locals.