Friday, July 05, 2019

Barbados: All the Food and Rum

It was a beautiful morning in Barbados.

We had a tour booked in central Bridgetown but the weather was so nice we decided to walk.

There was something that felt nice about how simple these government buildings looked.

We met Janelle and began a little food adventure with Lickrish Food Tours. In the local slang lickrish means gluttonous.

We started off with a meat roll. It was about as exciting as it's named but it was hardy. Can't go wrong with meat and pastry.

I think this blend was called Fruit Explosion: there was mango, banana, and strawberry.

Map of the parishes of Barbados. Right now we're munching in Saint Michael Parish.

There was a sign about the slave trade nearby:

"The Cage

Established by an Act of Parliament in 1688, the Cage was originally located at the top of modern day Broad Street, in the area next to the Cheffette restaurant. It was a temporary prison made of wood and wire, used to imprison runaway slaves until their owners came to reclaim them.

Due to the noise and stench made by the slaves, which it was felt presented a poor image of the island's capital, the Bridgetown merchants petitioned parliament to remove the Cage from its central location.

In 1818, it was removed from its original site and transferred to the Pier Head.

On August 27th, 2008 this plaque was officially unveiled by the Honourable Richard L. Sealy,  M. P., Minister of Tourism"

Here is the Cheffette restaurant in question. They have fried chicken amongst other offerings, and it is the local competitor with KFC.

We got a nice balcony seat at Tim's and watched the world float by while waiting for our food.

We sure got some real deal food this time. That meat thing is not a hot dog, not a sausage. It's a friggin pig tail complete with vertebrae that needed to be picked out. It tasted decent but what a weird thing to nibble on. Alongside that was some breadfruit. It was nice and starchy and filling.

This was a fun little dessert. Steam pudding is made from a sweet potato base with some pork juice as the sauce. I thought the experience was sort of like a pleasantly soggy fruit cake. Lydia thought it was like if eggnog was solid.

I was a little bit disappointed to see how prevalent bottled water shipped in from Florida was in the country.

We had the good fortune to be in the country during the celebration period known as Crop Over.  I love the name of that. It's a harvest festival, when the crops are over. It dates back to sugar cane plantations during slavery, with the tradition beginning in 1687. These days there are several events that take place over months. There seems to be a Carnivale-like party at some point.

I don't know that we were ever able to participate in any of the events I saw but it was a nice additional flavor to our time in the country.

Did some sorrel tasting.

A highlight was getting a bag full of nice and tart Barbados cherries.

I had a funny exchange with the fruit guys. I'd eaten several cherries before our guide chimed in that you are supposed to spit out the seeds. I had ingested quite a few of the seeds at this point. "Am I going to die?" I asked the fruit stall man. "Yes. But not from this."

Not even Google knows what the hell "play with the kiddie to get the goat" means.


Some moe cou cou and flying fish with some mauby to wash it town. We're getting real Bajan now. I learned that mauby is made from the bark of the snake tree.

This street vendor cake lady had some good inside information on the local ginger market. The price is currently too high so she was only selling sugar cakes.

After the food tour we sped over to barely catch the last Mount Gay rum tour of the day. They started us off with a taste of raw molasses on a popsicle stick.

I think this is only a small section of a Coffey still. It can be run continuously, whereas a pot still is used to make discrete batches of alcohol.

We passed Rihanna Drive on the way back to the hotel.

I turned to a hotel copy of The Barbados Advocate to get some hard hitting local news.

News such as the exciting upcoming launch of the Barbados Rabbit Association.

I could get a loan for a kickass float in next year's Crop Over parade.

There was a fabulous advertisement in comic form that taught me a lot about the dangers of dumping grease in the sewer. "We ain't treatin' we grease traps proper. Peltin' way certain things in the wrong places."

I did learn some more... applicable information as well. There was going to be a horse race tomorrow!

Happy hour was about to end. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

For dinner we popped over to the village of Oistins which sits in the neighboring Christ Church parish. They have a Friday Night Fish Fry which we wanted to check out.

We got in line at a decent looking place but they cook really really slow. Locals kept trying to cut the line in front of us, and I was generally annoyed by the whole situation. There are definitely situations where the whole "island time" thing stops being cute and starts to become a liability.

So we gave up and went to a fast food chain called Chefette. It came up a couple of times on our food tour earlier. It was still a pretty cultural experience so I don't feel bad about going corporate. There was a lot of fun banter between customers and staff which I was straining to understand.

There was fried chicken.

There was roti.

We went to a convenience store and I admired some of the local beer advertising.

Every sheriff needs a deputy.

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