tastily touring: visiting barbados with a salted cod fish cake recipe
Having researched a few Caribbean Islands since we began Tastily Touring (previously Worldly Wednesday) we have discovered that the Arawak Indians were the original inhabitants of many Caribbean Islands. Around 1200 the Caribs, coming from Venezuela, conquered the Arawak population on the island of Barbados. By the 1500’s the island of Barbados would be uninhabited due to frequent slave trading raids led by the Spanish. The Caribs were either taken as slaves or fled to other islands.
The island of Barbados is located most easterly of the Caribbean Island chain, northeast of Venezuela. Barbados gets its name from the Portuguese as they sailed to Brazil. Los Barbados, or bearded-ones, was chosen by the Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos. The island had many fig trees, which had a beard-like appearance.
Despite the frequent visits by the Spanish, Barbados was first settled by the British in 1627. On May 14th 1625 Captain John Powell landed on Barbados and claimed the uninhabited island for England. Two years later, on February 17th 1627, his brother Captain Henry Powell landed with a party of 80 settlers and 10 slaves. The group established the island’s first European settlement, Jamestown.
The British settlers relied on cash crops such as cotton, then tobacco and finally sugar, being the most profitable under the large plantation/slave labor model. The slaves worked the sugar plantations until slavery was abolished in 1834. Barbados remained a British colony until it was granted autonomy in 1961 and full independence in 1966
When looking at Barbados culture, there are two very distinct influences; one is English and the other cultural influence is African from the days of the slave trade. The African influence is demonstrated in the music, dance and food of the island. The British influence is seen in the many churches, architecture, sports and food of the island.
The recipe we chose to represent Barbados is salted cod fish cakes. Salted cod has been eaten for hundreds of years in the Caribbean. During the period of slavery salted fish became a part of the slave’s diet. Today, salted cod fish is no longer inexpensive or easily available. However, it remains an important part of Bajan cuisine and salted cod fish cakes are readily available.
Salted Cod Fish Cakes (Traditional Bajan Recipes)
2 tbsp oil
1 cup onions, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Salt to your taste
1 egg lightly beaten
¾ cup milk
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp shallots (finely chopped)
½ lb, salted cod fish, cooked and flaked
1 large fresh hot pepper such as a jalapeno (chopped)
1. In a heavy frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions until they are just wilted.
2. Place flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Make a well in center and pour egg, butter and milk.
3. Mix together lightly, and then add the onions, shallot, salted cod fish, salt and pepper.
4. Stir well. Drop by tablespoon full into hot oil, but do not crowd them in the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until they are golden brown on both sides.
5. Remove from pan and drain on absorbent paper. Serve very hot.
How to get this shot:
Photography Tip: use 100 ISO taking advantage of metering.
Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II