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Caribbean’s Culinary Capital and Birthplace of Rum

Caribbean’s Culinary Capital and Birthplace of Rum

There is an impeccable culinary scene in Barbados, from fine dining to the street food experiences and the Friday Night Fish Fry at Oistins Bay Gardens, it is easy to see why Barbados is known as the ‘culinary capital of the Caribbean’. Any clients looking for a true Bajan experience should sample some of the island’s fine rum, and those who do not drink will not miss out as there are many tantalising mocktails available!

A tantalising blend of the old and new, Bajan cuisine brings together the influences of African, Caribbean, West Indian and European delights to create a unique and authentic culinary experience.

It is no surprise that fish is a mainstay of the Bajan diet, with the surrounding waters providing an abundance of saltwater delicacies, including tuna, shark, salmon, cod, red snapper, kingfish, and dolphin fish, as well as shrimp, lobster, crabs and sea urchins. Moreover, flying fish, a national symbol of Barbados, is the species that most graces the plates of diners throughout the island.

Aside from seafood, a variety of meats such as chicken, beef, pork, turkey and duck fulfill the recipes of many Bajan dishes, and are served fried, grilled, baked, roasted and pickled. Traditional favourites such as cou-cou, rice and peas, pelau and macaroni pie complement most meals along with an assortment of fruits and vegetables such as breadfruits, papaya, cassava, mangoes and pawpaws.

Birthplace of Rum

The history of rum in Barbados and Barbados itself are forever entwined, with neither narrative complete without the other. It is believed that rum is the oldest distilled spirit in the world. Whether that is true or not, it is most certainly the oldest distilled spirit in Barbados.

First made 370 years ago from the sugar cane that populated the island, Barbados rum soon found favour with many English sailors who, as legend tells it, offered their bounty of rum as proof that they had crossed the Atlantic. However, it wasn’t until 1703, when Mount Gay Rum began distilling the oldest brand of rum in existence, that the world would come to recognise Barbados as the true birthplace of rum.

For more information about Barbados, visit the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) website at www.visitbarbados.org.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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