Barbados
Barbados offers a well-rounded gastronomy that ranges from deluxe fine dining at Zagat-rated restaurants to high quality but casual West Indian street food. As well as peas and rice, oxtail stew, and other Caribbean staples, local fare includes pudding and souse, which consists of pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes, and flying fish. The latter is traditionally eaten on Fridays with spicy gravy and cou-cou (a kind of cornmeal grit cooked with okra), and is the Barbados national dish. One of Barbados’ most famous food purveyors is Cuz, whose tiny, eponymous sandwich shack near Aquatic Gap and Pebbles Beach on Carlisle Bay has served savory flying fish “cutter” sandwiches for more than 20 years. Barbados is traditionally celebrated as the birthplace of rum—a distinction generally considered likely, but impossible to prove. It's believed slaves invented rum in the 17th century by fermenting molasses left over from sugar cane production. By the 19th century Barbados was an international rum-producing center and the drink was an integral element of the island’s social life. Today’s visitors can explore Barbados’ rum legacy at one of several distilleries, via an hour-long tour at the Mount Gay Visitor Center outside of Bridgetown, or simply at one of the country's estimated 1,500 neighborhood rum shops.