Eating Flying Fish and Coucou in Oistins, Barbados!

With a sunny Saturday afternoon in Barbados ahead of me, I headed back to the town of Oistins, this time to try another iconic Bajan dish, fish and coucou! On Saturdays, the locals like to eat their national dishes, and flying fish and coucou is one of many national dishes in Barbados.

My guide Craig, his girlfriend Nerissa, and I stopped by Fred’s Bar & Restaurant for some saltfish and coucou. It’s usually flying fish, but saltfish and herring are interchangeable with it.

Flying Fish in Oistins, Barbados

A plastic container filled with Herring (a substitute for flying fish) and coucou in Barbados | Davidsbeenhere

They served me some coucou, which is made with cornmeal, and some saltfish gravy. Because they didn’t have flying fish, I went with the saltfish. I also wanted a separate one with herring, so they made that for me, too. The herring looked so delicious!

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Then, they added some pickled cucumber and sweet potatoes. Everything came to 54 BBD, or exactly $27 USD. But then it started raining out of nowhere. While we waited for the rain to die down, we checked out some funny sayings posted on the wall.

Finally, it was time to eat! The coucou had a texture similar to mashed potatoes. I loved the salty saltfish sauce and the okra in it. The pickled cucumber added a nice bit of acidity. I also loved the herring! The bones were so tiny, I could easily eat through them without having to worry.

I really liked the coucou a lot. It was so tasty. The fish was throughout the entire dish, and it was very moist. The gravy was nice and rich! The sweet potato was also very nice!

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Bajan Craft Beers at Dreadhop Brewing

David Hoffmann and his guide Craig enjoy a flight of craft beers at Dreadhop Brewing in Barbados | Davidsbeenhere

After our flying fish meal, we drove five minutes to Dreadhop Brewing, the only craft brewery on the island, to try some beers. They started bottling their beers in 2014 and then they launched their current space in 2020 during the pandemic. They have a taproom and a beer garden outside.

I started with their summer ale, which was smooth and crisp. I loved the smoky, chocolaty smoked porter. The pale ale was very light, and the Pelican Island IPA was citrusy and hoppy. I could smell the oranges in it!

The red ale had a caramel and barley flavor that I liked a lot. I hadn’t had a red ale in a while! The Long Beach White Ale was light and crafty. The Barracuda Double IPA wasn’t very hoppy and the hazy IPA was nice, too.

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The Mahogany Bay Stout was really nice and creamy, and the Calypso Pilsner was the best pilsner I’ve ever had in my life! It was super refreshing! Then, I met the cat at the brewery and that was it for our afternoon in Oistins! It was a great way to end my flying fish–or a substitute– adventure in Oistins!

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