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You Never Try Dah?
By Julie-Ann Maughan
Bajans have an ingenuity about them that extends to food. For donkey years, Bajans have been creating simple yet delicious budget-friendly meals using whatever was available. Even some of our local delicacies like pone, flying fish and cou-cou and conkies were developed based on what we could find. So let us take a trip down memory lane with some throw-back Bajan budget meals.
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Sop Biscuits 

This was the food grandmothers cooked with whatever ground provisions were available at the time. Toss some sweet potatoes, yams, eddoes or green bananas along with some salt meat from the pantry (usually pork) into a nice seasoned stew and add herbed soaked Eclipse biscuits to the top of the stew to steam and cook. 

For those in a tighter financial pinch, it was simply the herbed soaked biscuits flavoured with some local Bajan seasonings and cooked on the stove. 

One-Two-Three

Ah...the cornerstone of Bajan cooking. Sometimes considered as the Bajan Chef Starter Pack, a One-Two-Three contains the Holy Trinity of English potatoes, macaroni and corned beef. Seasoned with onions, garlic and herbs, these ingredients were combined in a pot and cooked to perfection before being served (probably in flowered enamel bowls). This Bajan classic, which was also sometimes served with dumplings to add some ‘heft’, has filled many a tummy when the pantry was looking a little lean. 

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Bis-flakes 

The worst thing in the morning is reaching for your favourite cereal only to realise the box is empty. But have no fear, Bajans have a hack for that. Wibisco’s Soda/Eclipse biscuits were the handy replacement for cereal. Just break biscuits, put them into your favourite cereal bowl with some milk, and sugar and you have yourself an amazing bowl of bis-flakes.

Bakes

Fried bakes are the simplest Bajan budget foods on this list, with just three main ingredients: sugar, flour and water. Some Bajans have been known to ‘up de ting’ by adding spices such as essence, cinnamon or nutmeg to their bakes. Whether or not you choose to keep it simple or add jam, butter or cheese to your bakes, you often find yourself going back for more. 

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Pumpkin Fritters

Fritters are often prepared for breakfast or whipped up as a simple dessert after Sunday lunch. Grated or boiled belly pumpkin with flour and spices make a delicious dessert that instantly elevates your meal.

Rock cakes and a red Ju-C

When funds were limited, an affordable lunchtime option was a few rock cakes from the friendly neighbourhood corner shop. Paired with a nice cold red Ju-C (or you may be a rebel and choose an orange one - it’s all good), you would be able to survive until dinner. 

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