Most of our visitors want to indulge in the Bajan Experience and part of this, besides our music, culture and history, is our food, our local delicacies which must be savoured and the best place to do that would be in one of our rum shops!
Where do we start in terms of dishes which are particular to Barbados?  Just about every day of the week means a particular local dish which you come to expect from local eateries and of course the rum shops.  Rum shops are everywhere!  They are definitive of our culture and in some areas the rum shop also serves as a small grocery store providing the basics like bread, milk, eggs, tinned corned beef and biscuits (savoury crackers like SodaBix locally made).  Most of our rum shops are brightly painted and are usually 'sponsored' by a particular brand of beer, rum, or drink/food product - the signage may be a particular brand but inside is a tapestry all served and enjoyed with the same gusto.  Some familiar brands would be Banks Beer (locally brewed and now can be found in Tesco UK), Heineken, Johnny Walker scotch, Remy-Martin brandy, Mount Gay or Cockspur rums, Mackeson stout to name a few.  These rum shops attract a local following and the regulars can be found 'slamming dominoes', watching football on wide screen TV's or simply bantering with each other on hot topics like politics and the economy.  Every Bajan has an opinion and they love to express this quite vocally at times!  Our favourite rum shop is Wendy's which is located in Fitts Village - it is Banks sponsored and the owner John Simpson is an avid Liverpool supporter and it is a typical rum shop with a small grocer in the back and a kitchen which turns out the most amazing local eats!  You can get a cold beer or spirits and wine sold by the mini bottles with a bowl of ice and a mixer - the ice is replenished as needed and you can grab some food and watch your favourite games on one of the four large TV's.  They do kareoke every Friday night and has a core group of local supporters and they always welcome visitors - John is charming and makes everyone feel welcomed.
Saturdays is tradition for Pudding and Souse - this is not for the feint hearted as traditional souse is picked pork parts including the ears, snout and trotters boiled and then soaked in a vinegar, lime juice, grated cucumber, chopped onions, parsley and the very hot Scotch Bonnet peppers that make your eyes water!  For the more sophisticated palates you can order 'lean souse' whereby it is only lean cuts of pork used for the pickle.  This souse is served with steamed pudding (similar to British Black Pudding) made of spiced sweet potatoes, darkened with browning to give the look of a traditional blood pudding.  The pudding is served two ways - stuffed in a casing such as a sausage casing or served in scoops with the pickle on top.  Accompanying the pudding and souse there is usually a side of a choice of boiled breadfruit, green bananas or sweet potatoes topped with some of the souse pickle.  Saturdays at Wendy's is complete with an order of pudding and souse and cold Banks beer!  More on Rum Shops and Bajan Foods coming soon!
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