Barbados was nicknamed "land of the flying fish". Today it is the official national fish for the country. The National dish is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish. Many aspects of Barbadian culture centre around the flying fish: it is depicted on coins, as sculptures in fountains, and in numerous pieces of artwork in artwork. The Barbadian coat of arms features a pelican and dolphin fish on either side of the shield, but the dolphin resembles a flying fish
Flying fish can be seen jumping out of warm waters as your cruise along the coastlines of Barbados. Their torpedo shape helps them gather enough underwater speed to break the surface, and their large, wing-like fins give them flight.
Flying fish are thought to have evolved this remarkable gliding ability to escape predators, of which they have many. Their pursuers include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger fish. Flying fish themselves feed on a variety of foods, including plankton. The Flying fish itself is small in size only growing up to 45com in length
Flying fish have been recorded as reaching heights of over 4 feet and gliding long distances of up to 665feet. Flying fish have been recorded stretching out their flights with consecutive glides spanning distances up to 1,312 feet. Flying fish can soar high enough that sailors often find them on the decks of their ships.
When one thinks of fish in Barbados one’s mind cannot help but think of Oistins. Oistins is the best place on the Island for visitors to experience the local culture and flavour. By day the public fish market is bustling with fishing boats bringing in their catch and the vendors cleaning and selling the fish. At night especially on Friday’s the large adjacent open area becomes a hive of activity. The aroma of fresh fish sizzling on the grill or frying in the pots delights the many visitors who come to dine, lime, dance and maybe even sing a tune or two.
There is even a fish festival held in Oistins every year. The festival named the Oistins Fish Festival is a celebration of fishermen and their skills where fresh fish is cooked, the fisherman show off their skills, music is played, karaoke enjoyed and a fun time is had by all! The Festival commences every Easter weekend and last 3days. Visitors can expect live calypso and reggae music, craft fairs, family games and stalls selling delicious seafood dishes. Popular events and attractions include the fish boning tournament, boat races and the fun grease-pole competition.
It was in Oistins that the Round Heads and Cavaliers were set for battle in 1639. Operations moved from the west coast of the island to the south coast. On a bluff overlooking Oistins Town preparations were made for a full scale land battle. The Parliamentary army numbered some two thousand and were opposed by Lord Willoughby's three thousand strong army. After small scale forays heavy rains intervened, lasting three days. This certainly saved the island from a major disaster. Willoughby recognised that in the long run he could not win, as desertions and the command of the seas guaranteed the upper hand to Parliament's forces. On 17th January, 1652, the Charter of Barbados setting out the conditions of surrender was ratified at Ye Mermaid's Inn, Oistin's Town. The Articles of Agreement drawn up were the third oldest in the Commonwealth. Thus ended an unusual chapter in colonial history, when for a brief moment a few people on a tiny island openly defied a strong imperial power..... I will do a blog at a later time with further details on this but for now on with the Flying fish.
No Flying fish story would be complete without a Flying fish recipe. In keeping with that here is a recipe for Fried flying fish, this Bajans opinion on the best way to prepare and enjoy Flying Fish.
Fried Flying Fish
6 boned flying fish
breadcrumbs and flour
1-2 beaten eggs
oil for frying
2 tablespoons of seasoning bottle seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
Marinate in lime and salt for 15-20 minutes. Drain well and rub with seasoning mixture. Dip in flour, then brush with egg then flour again and fry in hot shallow oil, first on the top side than the back of the fish fillets until brown.
Provided with the compliments of your friends at Glory Tours. The #1 Provider of Sightseeing Tours in Barbados http://glorytours.org/