Happy New Year! I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year? I did and then jetted off to the Caribbean just over a week ago to visit friends and escape the cold.
The food in Barbados is definitely not worth flying here for. But that’s not why I came. For once I have taken a trip that isn’t centred around restaurants I want to go to and patisseries I have to visit. I have still managed to visit a great coffee roaster (thanks Wyndhams) and bean to bar chocolate maker (thanks Agapey) and will visit a chocolatier before I leave, but they are each the only one of their kind here and generally the food is VERY expensive and mostly considerably below London standards.
There are a few interesting things worth reporting on:
- Sea Grapes. I saw these being sold on the side of the street so bought a small bag for 1USD. I’m definitely seeking out more before we go home. They’re foraged from bushes growing near the sea and are more inedible seed than fruit but they taste like candy sharp and refreshing and are fun to eat.
- (SOURCE: Google Images)
- Sea Purslane. I had this yesterday at Eco Lifestyle & Lodge which gave us overall the best food of the trip. This was a side dish that we had as a starter tempura. It actually grows in the sand alongside the British seas as well so I’ll be looking out for it back at home. It’s a little like samphire but less salty and more plump and juicy. It worked brilliantly as a tempura with an aioli.
- Sorrel Juice. Otherwise known as Hibiscus, this is only available fresh from Dec Feb and is bright red and the flowers are usually mixed with sugar, cinnamon and cloves to make the drink. Kind of like a chilled mulled blackcurrant juice. I drink quit ea lot of hibiscus tea at home since I learnt it’s supposedly really good for you (see one article here that includes the cautions as well) so I love this refreshing drink.
- Sea Moss. Another seaweed that’s soaked and blended into a gel then mixed into smoothies, cocktails or desserts. It’s supposedly high in lots of minerals. According to the man I bought some from at the market today drinking the gel neat would be like drinking glue. Hmm.
- Fishcakes. These are a Bajan speciailty. We went hunting for Legendary Hot Fishcakes which are supposedly the best and served from a fleet of street vans. But they’re on holiday until after we leave. Instead I bought some at the Holder’s Hill farmer’s market today. Deep fried in front of me and only 1USD each! A veritable bargain compared to the loaf of bread which set us back 7USD (this is pretty standard here in supermarkets and restaurants). I think the fishcakes were made with cassava flour as they’re slightly gelatinous but they were perfectly spiced, not especially fishy and very moreish, (when they finally cooled down enough for us to douse in hot sauce and eat). Oh yes, the hot sauce. We are practically drinking the stuff. Our favourite has been the Delish brand made with just Hot Peppers, Cucumber, Onions, Mustard, Vinegar & Salt. I’ll be attempting to make this as well once we finish all the bottles we’ll bring back, which will undoubtedly be less than two weeks.
If you do ever visit Barbados, alongside Eco Lifestyle Lodge I’d also recommend eating at PEG Farm where most of the delicious food served is grown there biodynamically (meat and vegetables) and on the beach at La Cabane. The food is very good and setting is blissful. At Holder’s Hill Farmers Market you can get the only sourdough and proper French vienoisserie on the island from The Cliff Bakery (go early, they sell out quickly) and some of the excellent fishcakes above, plus the sea moss, sorrel concentrate and some other unusual local treats.
See you back in the cold soon!