Barbados National Dish:  Coucou & Flying Fish
Coucou and flying is a recipe made with corn meal, okra, flying fish and topped with an aromatic sauce of tomato, onion, chives, thyme, fresh pepper, garlic and other herbs.  The fish can be steamed, battered & fried or grilled.  Coucou is also known as Fungi in other caribbean islands such as Dominica, Antigua and the Virgin Islands.  The Italians prepare a similar version of coucou called pollenate.  The recipe for coucou was passed down from African slaves who came to the island in 1644.  The recipe requires consistent stirring of the coucou until it reaches a smooth, even distribution of ingredients and a firmness to be eaten with a fork.  Bajans have invented a tool just for this purpose called a “coucou stick.”
Barbados has many popular local fish such as kingfish, tuna, barracuda and red snapper, but they are hailed as “The Land of the Flying Fish.”  Flying fish is very prevalent in warm water, and they do fly!  They can fly distances of up to 100 yards above the water’s surface at around 30 miles per hour.  This allows them to escape predators such as swordfish, tunas and other larger fish.  They are identified by a silvery-blue skin, their large fins and lopsided tails.  In fact, the image of the flying fish can be seem on the national logo for Barbados.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007