Sparkling beaches, sandy coastlines, and sizzling seas are the main things that invite people to visit the Caribbean. However, after visiting there, you will find another reason to visit the Island over and over again and that is definitely not a tourist destination. To your surprise, we are talking about one of the most popular Caribbean dishes ‘Coucou and Flying Fish’, which is known to be the national dish of Barbados. 

Why is it the national dish of Barbados?

Barbados is a self-proclaimed land of Coucou and Flying Fish. The reason for this is the abundant flying fishes on this Island. If you wonder what is the difference between normal fish and flying fish, let us tell you that flying fishes actually glide. They have relatively large wings and they use them to launch themselves into the air. This type of fish is found in a large number in Barbados and this is the reason that this Island is called the land of flying fish dishes. 

Coucou and Flying Fish

Coucou and Flying Fish are not actually one single dish. They are two different dishes. They are usually served together to enjoy the maximum flavor. You can enjoy either of the dishes individually or with any other dishes but when they are served together they are called the national dish of Barbados.

The origin of Coucou and Flying Fish

The Coucou and Flying Fish is not new to the Caribbean. In fact, it dates back its history to the time of colonialism. Coucou and Flying Fish actually has its origin in West Africa but it became popular in Caribbean cuisine because of African influence on the island. Traditionally, this dish is served on Friday at home as well as the restaurants. Nevertheless, if you feel like having it, you can eat it any time. 

How do they cook flying fish?

Flying fish is a luscious dish and extremely easy to prepare. The interesting thing is that the preparation does not take much time. First of all, each fish is soaked in salt and lime juice for around 10 minutes. After that, the fish is battered fried, and then rubbed with bhajan seasoning to add a mind-blowing flavor to them. After seasoning, the fish is marinated for about an hour. Then, they are rolled up into a sauce-like shape. Finally, they are steamed in lip-smacking and aromatic sauce to add further flavor to the dish. After doing about an hour of work, the dish is ready to be served. This battered fried dish will definitely be a treat to your taste buds. This is why make sure to enjoy a bunch of it on your next trip to Barbados. 

How to cook Cou Cou?

Cou Cou is a side dish in Barbados that is mainly served with flying fish. However, you can enjoy it with other main dishes too. The dish is made from okra, fresh herbs, cornmeal, and butter. Generally, the dish is prepared using Cou Cou stick. This is why it is called Cou Cou. Slightly seasoned cooked cornmeal is mixed with okra and water to prepare this dish. This saucy dish completes the flavor of flying fish. After savoring it once, you’ll ask for more. 

Where can you eat Coucou and Flying Fish?

Well, you can find Coucou and Flying Fish all over the world. However, if you want to relish the real flavor of the dish, taste it in Barbados. You will find this in different regions of the Caribbean with a different twist of flavor. However, the flavor you will get in Barbados, you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the best places to enjoy this lip-smacking dish are:

  • Fish Pot, Barbados
  • Mustor’s Restaurant, Barbados
  • Cuzz’s Fish Stand, Barbados
  • Mo’s Grill and Bajan Cooking, Barbados
  • Cutters of Barbados, Barbados
  • Uncle George’s Fish Net Grill, Barbados
  • Champers Restaurant Barbados
  • Pat’s Place, Barbados

So, these are the best places where you can enjoy the awesomeness of Frying Fish and Cou Cou. Nevertheless, it is available throughout the island.

Other foods to try when you are in the Caribbean

The Caribbean delegation is not limited just to flying fishes and Cou Cou, there are many other luscious and flavorful dishes that definitely deserve a try when you are in the Caribbean. Here, we have talked about some of those dishes. Have a look at them.

  • Conch Ceviche

Caribbean sea foods would be incomplete without the mention of Conch Ceviche. Particularly popular in the Bahamas, this amazing dish is full of flavors and awesomeness. To prepare this dish, finely chopped conches are seasoned well in lime juice, salt, orange juice, tomato, peppers, onions, and other mild spices.

  • Mofongo

Another food you must try while exploring this wonderful Island is Mofongo. Enriched with the goodness of garlic, this is popular among people who love spicy food. The dish is made from mashed & fried green plantains and seasoned garlic. In addition to that, fried pork skin is added to it to render it a unique texture as well as flavor. 

  • Trinidad doubles

If you are a street food lover and want to enjoy oh-so-tasty Street foods in the Caribbean, Trinidad doubles should be the first on your list.  Made from super soft fried bread, Trinidad doubles are actually small sandwiches, but with a twisted flavor. You will enjoy the awesome flavors of garlic salt, fresh herbs, turmeric, and chickpeas in this dish.

  • Jerk chicken

Another lip-smacking dish that you can’t miss out on when you are in the Caribbean. Known to be hearty, filling, and spicy, jerk chicken is the heart of Jamaican cuisine. The grilled chicken is marinated in a thick blend of spices to prepare this amazingly flavorful dish. It is a side dish, usually served with rice and peas. 

Caribbean cuisines are diverse and have an influence on European as well as Asian countries. Not just that, the Island has even influence of America. Nevertheless, Coucou and Flying Fish is the regional dish of the island and the flavor that you find in Barbados, can’t be enjoyed anywhere in the world.

Check out IC Caribbean Shop to have look at some unique travel accessories and enjoy some exciting matches in CPL 2022.

IC Caribbean invites persons to join our internship program. Work with us to get exposure in the international travel industry and work with a diverse team of professionals.

Don’t forget to check out our recent podcast episode on The Tastes of Saba Travel and Tours below:


Enjoy your Vacation at the exhilirating Cococay beach in 2022- Part 1

Top 6 Caribbean Parks to visit in 2022- Part 1