Barbados – Day 5: A Long Walk and Search for Salt Fish and Cheese

Yesterday, we had nothing planned.

We ran out of kid cereal – except one box of Apple Jacks – and milk yesterday (so we picked up some more milk and Caribbean Crunch…basically granola with pineapple, coconut, bananas and raisins it it) so we had the adult cereal this morning. It wasn’t terrible, but I would have enjoyed it more in yogurt with some honey. I ate half my bowl then ate the last box of Apple Jacks to tide myself over until lunch.

Then we decided to go for a walk…a long walk. (About 7.4km…or 4.6 miles.) We were in search of some salt fish and some guava cheese. From “Salt Fish is fresh fish that has been salt-cured and dried until all the moisture has been extracted. In order to prepare salt fish for cooking, it needs to be rehydrated and most of the salt removed through a process of overnight soaking in hot water and subsequent boiling…Salt fish, also called dried fish, has been a part of Caribbean cuisine dating all the way back to the days of colonial rule and was first introduced to the Caribbean in the 16th century. Vessels from North America – mainly Canada – would come bringing lumber, and pickled and salted cod, they would return with molasses, rum, sugar and salt.” Guava Cheese is a sweet fruity fudge-like treat, though it isn’t chocolate. The ingredients make it a simple treat, but the process to make it is apparently very complicated…or sensitive. It’s made of fresh guavas and sugar and once it’s all boiled down and allowed to set, it’s chopped into bars and coated with sugar.

The travel books told us that Bajans (pronounced beige-an or baysian, by the way) love to eat things like this, but so far as we can tell, they don’t. I haven’t seen a single guava on this whole island. It appears as if the locals like hamburgers, fried chicken and regular, mostly-American type foods with the exception of the flying fish, that, when all is really said and done, is just a different kind of fish sandwich. But anyway we were in search of these two things. I had actually already found guava cheese, but only bought a small sample to see if I liked it…I did, and I ate it all…so I was determined to find and bring more home. The prepared salt fish had eluded T though, so we really wanted to find some.

We did find both. The salt fish at a Walgreens type store…so T got some to try. It was prepared, basically, in a hot pocket made of something similar to corn bread. It was strange at first, very fishy, but tasty for sure. We found the guava cheese at the 99 cent convenience store.

After securing our treasures, we ate lunch at Chefette (the quintessential fast food place of Barbados…think of it as a Pal’s or In-and-Out Burger). T had a Chicken and Potato Roti (a curry based wrap thing) and I had a BBQ Burger. For those of you keeping track, that’s three burgers in a row for me for lunch. Blah! I don’t even want to know how many steps back I’ve taken this week, but the food has been pretty worth it.

After lunch we trekked back to the hotel and got ready to go to the pool. We put our swimsuits on and posted up on the beach until the sun went down. Then we went to get ready for dinner.

On our way to dinner we got another good sales pitch. A guy stopped T and asked him what the gift was for the first year of marriage. T, of course, said paper. So the guy tore us off a piece of paper from his notepad and handed it to us. Then he started to sketch T. We stopped him halfway saying we weren’t going to buy it, but he asked us for some money for trying. T gave him an American $5 and asked for two American dollars back, the guy said, “I won’t give you two, but I’ll give you one.” So off we went $4 poorer and all we had to show for it was a scrap of paper…which I kept!

Shortly after that, T bought a wooden turtle from a street vendor who had been VERY nice and respectful to us all week. So since he really wanted a turtle figurine and he wanted to reward good behavior, he bought it from her. 🙂

We ate dinner at Pices. We’d been hearing it was the best place…lots of people here suggested it, so we were excited to try it. And…my God…it was incredible. There are literally no words for the level of deliciousness that defined that meal. As an appetizer, we had two grilled scallops on a bed of cheesy rizzoto. For dinner, I had Wahoo with a lemon banana sauce (I know, RIGHT!?!?) and creamed potatoes with vegetables. T had a seafood sampler. He said, “This is how much I love you…I only have two mussels and I already ate one…but I’m going to let you have the other because I want you to taste how good it is…there should never be a doubt I love you after you taste it.” And he was right! For dessert, we had bread and butter pudding with vanilla ice cream. You’ll have to wait until I upload the pictures because the plates were beautiful. Also, we sat on the balcony right over the beach…seriously, INCREDIBLE.

After that, we walked our full bellies home. I fell asleep on the balcony, then promptly went to bed. Today (Thursday) we are in search of a good breakfast, then we have our Rum Distillery tour at lunch (and with lunch).


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