Barbados holds the unofficial yet aptly given title of the "Culinary Capital of the Caribbean," for its wealth of restaurants, farm-to-table ingredients, its easy, welcoming Caribbean dishes with influences from European, African and Indigenous cultures, being the historic birthplace of rum production and its well-known Barbados Food and Rum Festival.
Barbadian cuisine is also called Bajan cuisine. It blends culinary influences from the island's native inhabitants with those of its newer European and African inhabitants, including Portuguese, British, Irish, Creole and even Indian culinary cultures, a process that began some 400 years ago.
One such product of that process is one of the island's crowning culinary glories: rum. This alcoholic beverage made from fermented sugar was first reported to be produced in Barbados as early as 1703 at the historic - and still operating today - Mount Gay distillery. Travelers can find Mount Gay Rum across the island, but it is a must for any first-time traveler in Barbados to take a rum tour at the historic distillery to enjoy a more educational tasting experience.
True foodies will love tasting Barbados' national dish, cou-cou (a polenta-like dish made from cornmeal and okra), served with flying fish or visit Oistins for a more familiar fish fry, using freshly caught fish from the ocean. If tasting the best of the best is on your to-do list while in Barbados, enjoy one of the island's many fine dining restaurants, offering a variety of ethnic foods ranging from Thai to tapas and more.
Besides restaurants, travelers can experience Bajan foodie culture by taking a culinary tour, visiting its local farms, plantations or distilleries, wandering through a local food market or stopping by a food truck or street food stall in between visiting the island's UNESCO World Heritage sites.
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