Some years ago, I went to Barbados for a romantic holiday. It was two weeks of sunshine, rum punch, dips in the sea and hotel pool, dancing, sightseeing and excellent food. Breakfasts were a leisurely affair, with a tropical buffet being laid out by the pool, which comprised of fresh fruit, assorted bread rolls, pancakes, boiled eggs, savoury and sweet tarts, breakfast cakes, banana bread and continental pastries.
After helping yourself the breakfast buffet, you could then order a main breakfast dish, of which locally caught flying fish was a speciality, as well as ‘bakes’ – a cross between a Scotch pancake and a doughnut that is made with cornmeal – fried plantain, assorted types of eggs and omelettes, pumpkin fritters, salt bread and fish cakes. The food was fresh and imaginative, and eating it poolside or by the ocean made it all the more enjoyable.
The breakfast fish cakes I was served are not the gentle ‘Country House’ style fish cakes of Great Britain, oh no, these fish cakes that I enjoyed as part of a ‘Full Bajan Breakfast’ were fiery little numbers and were served with Bajan pepper sauce and wedges of lime. Made with salt cod, fresh chillies, onions, a little mashed potato and Bajan seasoning, they were very spicy and yet totally addictive.
These may be too spicy for most people’s taste, for breakfast that is, so why not serve them with a glass of rum punch as part of pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, as I did! They are not the traditional fish cake shape that most of us all know – as they are dropped by spoon into hot fat to fry, they come out looking more like balls or nuggets.