November 30, 2016, is an important day for many Barbadians as it represents the island’s day of independence. But, the year 2016 is especially significant as Barbados celebrates a half-century of being an independent nation!

So as Barbados celebrates its 50th Anniversary, what better way to celebrate than by tasting 7 of Barbados’ deliciously sweet treats!


1.   Tamarind Balls

Yet another sweet and sugary treat from the island of Barbados, tamarinds can be eaten most naturally straight from the tree but if you want to experience it in its freshest state, you will also have to deal with the acidic nature. A fond childhood memory, in its truest form, it is quite easy to eat as the shell cracks easily to reveal the fleshy tamarind. You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the contents of a tamarind seed, just be careful of the seeds and the fine roots that are right under the skin of the tamarind.  But for a more commercial and sweeter taste, tamarind balls can also be found in the form of small round balls with sugar sprinkled all over to give it a sweet and sour taste!

Where Can I Find It?

You have two options! Just like the coconut tree, you can find many a tamarind tree on this island. But unlike the coconut tree, you cannot easily climb this tree as it can grow to be a tall yet stout bushy tree, so I’d advise you to use a stick to get down what you can or simply pick up what tamarinds have been sprinkled all over the ground! In its commercial state, they can be found at any supermarket, but try a few of the rum shops as well to get the taste of a true homemade tamarind ball!


2.   Sno-Cones (Snow Cones)

‘Sno-cones’ (or snow cones) are shaved ice filled to the brim with sugary syrup which comes in a variety of colours and flavours. ‘Sno-cones’ are typically sold by vendors on cart-topped bicycles with an icebox full of shaved ice with all of the flavourings attached, all under a huge bright umbrella. The variety of colours and flavours are definitely appealing not only to the eye but quite pleasing to the taste buds!

With the cost of this sugary treat being less than $3 BBDS, these iced delights are deeply rooted within the Barbadian history and culture and are most certainly a favourite for both locals and tourists alike.

But, you must be warned, there is a technique to eating a ‘sno-cone’. If you drink it too quickly you’ll be left with a flavourless lump of ice and on the other hand, if you take your time, without a doubt you’ll be a sugary mess as the juices just overflow! Use your straw to constantly mix the ice with the syrup and you’ll enjoy this sugary treat!

Where Can I Find It?

They are present at all popular outdoor events and you’ll also spot them hanging around the more popular beaches and in Bridgetown, ready to help you quench your thirst!

Tip: Some vendors have a variety of local flavours such as coconut, tamarind and ginger. No one says you have to stick to only one flavour so have some fun and mix it up and if you dare to take it a step further, add some sweet condensed milk to your treat! Trust me; it’s unlike anything you’ve ever had!


3.   Sugar Cakes

Just as sweet as the tamarind balls but without the tartness, sugar cakes is another well known sweet treat on the island. Made with coconut and sugar, it’s no wonder why it is so popular among not only the adults but kids alike. My fondest memories of sugar cakes simply leave my mouth watering as I peered through the glass cases admiring the three most popular and traditional flavours being white, pink and brown. But as the sugar cake evolved through the years, you’ll be sure to find them in an abundance of flavours and colours such as cheesecake, pina colada, lime daiquiri and even strawberry rum.

Where Can I Find It?

Just like the tamarind balls, sugar cakes can be found at any supermarket as well as some rum shops.


4.   Coconut Water

On a hot and humid day, there is nothing quite like a cool and refreshing drink of coconut water to quench your thirst. When you are in Barbados it’s not a problem to find fresh coconut water, so if you’re not brave enough to climb a tall and slender coconut tree, just take a drive along the ABC highway of Barbados and you’ll more than likely see not just one but many coconut vendors on the side of the road selling their fresh coconut water.

What makes this experience so awe evoking is the fact that they skilfully cut it right in front of you if you want to drink it straight from the shell. Moreover, you have options, if you don’t want to drink it straight from the shell the vendors do supply 1/2 gallon bottles for the price of $15 BBDs or you can even bring your own as well and it would be priced accordingly! What’s more is that for an extra $5BBds you’ll get a small food crate filled with sweet jelly! All that we ask is that you take an Instagram-worthy picture of your experience!

Where Can I Find It?

You can catch a coconut vendor at any time of the week but the best time is on the weekends especially on Sunday mornings on the highway.

Tip: I’m going to let you in on a little secret. As you are in the land that invented rum, coconut water is also known as a hangover remedy as it settles the stomach and replaces those essential electrolytes. So if you plan on enjoying a lot of our finest rums, stock up on some coconut water.


5.   Jam Puffs

Yet another old-time Bajan speciality, a jam puff is a triangular crust pastry stuffed (of rather puffed) with sweet strawberry jam and sprinkled golden brown sugar on top. This pastry is so delicate and satisfying that it can be eaten any time of the day!

Where Can I Find It?

You’d be able to find this sweet treat at Purity Bakeries Bread & Pastry Shoppe located at Purity Bakeries in Collymore Rock, St. Michael. Purity has become one of the most well-known bakeries in Barbados synonymous with a variety of traditional Bajan bread, cakes and pastry products.


6.   Tea Time Biscuits

One of Barbados’ most popular biscuits is the tea time biscuits! This delicious sandwich made by the perfect union of two crisp baked cookies and a layer of smooth cream filling is unlike no other. With flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, double chocolate and “choconilla”, these cookies are certainly a treat for the young and even the old!

Where Can I Find It?

You’d be able to find these deliciously sweet biscuits at Barbados’ longest operating bakery – the West India Biscuit Company Ltd. (WIBISCO) and any supermarket or gas station. But, not only will you be able to find these mouthwatering biscuits at WIBISCO, located at Gills Road, St.Michael, you’ll also be able to purchase other variety of cookies and crackers alike!

Tip: As Barbados celebrates their 50th Anniversary the West India Biscuit Company Limited specially created the Blue Vanilla Tea Time biscuits to celebrate this special occasion. So be sure to get this limited edition – #50yearsBajanStrong

#FunFact: Biscuit baking started in Barbados as far back in 1850!


7.   Locally Flavoured Ice Cream from ‘Rtic Melt Ice Cream Parlour’

In a tropical island like Barbados, every day is a good day to enjoy ice cream. Everyone likes flavours such as vanilla, chocolate, peppermint, cherry, strawberry and caramel, but Rtic takes it one step further and not only offers these flavour homemade style but also specialises in the unusual flavours such as coconut, Guinness, soursop and nutmeg. Can you imagine nutmeg ice cream? I had to try it to believe it and now I am a firm believer!

I can go on all day about their unique flavours but some things you just need to leave to the imagination. But trust us, even your mind cannot begin to imagine the unique flavours at ‘Rtic’.

Your taste buds will love us!


Originally published on Caribound.


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