Nation e-Edition

Things Bajan: Cou cou

Sat, November 10, 2012 - 2:16 PM

For the month of November, we will focus on things Barbados as this country celebrates its Independence. Every day we will be highlighting Barbadian sayings, artefacts unique to the country, as well as personalities, icons, some places and things that reflect Barbados.

COU COU is today’s focus of Things Bajan.

Cou cou or coo-coo is a meal of corn flour paste, prepared today in Barbados almost exactly the way it was done in some parts of Africa where it was originally known as foo-foo.
Locally, it is cooked with okras which are sliced and boiled until there is a slimy solution. Half of this is removed from the pot and kept near at hand, while the rest continues to boil.

The corn flour is slowly added to the boiling liquid, and stirred continuously with a flat wooden cou cou stick until it becomes a soft consistent paste free of lumps or dry spots. If it gets too “tough” more okra water is added, and if it is too soft cooking is continued until the desired consistency is reached.

Cou cou is served with fish or meat, tinned or fresh. Served with flying fish it is the national dish of Barbados. It has a bland taste and is eaten more for the sake of the accompanying sauce.
It is a very quick meal to prepare but must be eaten while hot to be truly appreciated.

Sometimes a large number of okras are used to make a thick, slimy slush appropriately called “okra slush”.
It is only eaten with cou cou.
Cou cou can also be made of breadfruit, guinea corn, green bananas, yams or potatoes.

• Source: A-Z Of Barbadian Heritage.

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