Sunday 24 March, 2019

Photos: Ten snacks tourists must try on Barbados trips

What's your favourite Bajan snack?

What's your favourite Bajan snack?

Once you visit Barbados, there are some treats that you must try.

Here are 10 such treats.

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1. Tamarind Balls

These used to be a mix of sweet or sour tamarinds and sugar, with a little water, then rolled in more sugar.

Nowadays the chefs are experimenting more with this treat, adding more than sugar, they added some pepper and even ginger along with other spices to make them even nicer.

You're getting flavoured tamarind balls now.

2. Sugar cakes

The chefs have gone all out with this treat.

Made of grated coconut and sugar, with some essence and maybe ginger or bay leaf, today in 2019, you can try Rum n' Raisin, Pineapple, Ginger, Molasses, Bay Leaf, and other flavour sugar cakes in addition to the traditional pink and white. 

Fun Fact: Sugar cakes are not baked like a cake. They are boiled on the stove top until the sugar melts and the mixture reaches the right gooey consistency and then with a spoon, they are dropped onto a plate, shaped and left to cool. The wind hardens them. 

3. Tomato balls

With large sugar crystals on the outside, these marble-sized red hard candies are a delight. You can suck one for an hour or chew it to pieces in minutes comfortably.

4. Guava cheese

Think of toffee, but it's not chewy. It's tacky and sweet. It's not hard candy, but it's delicious just the same. They are made with sugar and a local fruit called guava. 

5. Nut cake

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Where are its sister the sugar cake is made up of coconut mainly, the nut cake is made of peanuts. They are held together by...you guessed it SUGAR! 

Fun Fact: Nut cakes are another Bajan cake that's not a cake. No flour is involved again, however, these can be baked.

6. Brown mints

When you ask for a mint in Barbados, you may ask 10 people and only twice get a red and white candy-striped confectionary which you may be accustomed to, but the other eight times you'll probably get a brown mint. They're good especially if you have a cough or cold. The flavour is not like eucalyptus, but they soothe like a cough drop. Be careful though, if the smooth mint cracks it can start to make the mind taste really hot!

7. Sno-cone 

This cold, icy treat in our warm climate is the best. It's shaved ice served in a plastic cup. Then there are numerous flavoured syrups that can be added. In Barbados the most popular is coconut. And for an extra 25 cents or 50 cents, you top your sno-cone with condensed milk. It's delicious.

Fun Fact: Sno-cones used to be served in paper cups years gone by. Talk about having to eat fast. There is even a Bajan saying for "extremely quickly" that goes "It ain't even last as long as a sno-cone!"

8. Gooseberry syrup

Full of Vitamin C and acid to boot, gooseberries when boiled with sugar and bay leaf and ginger and spice make a sweet syrup. Some people only stew the gooseberries in the sweet concoction so they still maintain their shape just they turn brown with the sugar and lose their crunch.  

9. Comfort

This is a hard candy that is made of sugar and mint and we're not sure what else. It's pulled and so it takes a stick-like shape. It's a Bajan version of the candy cane. But if an old Bajan makes it, if you're lucky, the white mint flavoured comfort stick will have a glassy at the top, a button-sized pink dollop of hard candy. Two treats for the price of one...SWEET!

10. Hills corncurls

You may know Cheeto Puffs, well in Barbados we have our version of corn curls and they are delicious. They are made by Hill Milling and if you get a good bag of them they're not only crunchy but cheesy. 

Fun Fact - There are characters on the bags such as Bumble Bee, Sly Mongoose and Wizard Lizard amongst others, but children always fought for the Bee believing it held the cheesiest of the lot. 

 

Honourary mention - Baked nuts

These are peanuts in the shell still. Buy a pack of baked nuts, husk and crunch them as you explore the island. You'll go nuts for these and there's no salt or honey or even sugar added.

Fun Fact: For Bajans living abroad, you can actually grab some of these treats on e-bay and Amazon.

Good luck! And whether you're diabetic or not, please remember everything in moderation

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