A dish that has been celebrated in Barbados for generations is flying fish and coucou. Like every other Caribbean meal, there’s no shortage of flavor, and the dish draws from multiple cultures.

Here’s what to know about the national dish of sunny Barbados.

Flying Fish: A Bajan National Symbol

The flying fish is a national symbol. In fact, one of Barbados’ nicknames is “land of the flying fish.” Nassau Illustrated notes, “They are depicted on coins, in scripture, and as a hologram on the Bajan passport.”

You should have little trouble finding flying fish at any restaurant in Barbados. It can be steamed or fried. If you want to make this dish yourself and can’t find flying fish, sea bass works as a substitute.

Coucou recalls grits or polenta, and it’s mixed with okra, onions, and thyme. Sandals reports that “coucou is served in the traditional way, which is by forming it into an oval shape, using an enamel bowl.” It can also be served in a calabash shell.

Barbados Pocket Guide explains, “Coucou is stirred continuously with a long stick that resembles a small version of a cricket bat.” It has to be mixed properly to ensure that it’s smooth and free of lumps.

In the absence of cornmeal, green bananas or breadfruit can be used to make coucou.

When Is The Dish Traditionally Eaten?

Anytime really, but Sandals notes, “Bajan people traditionally cook up this recipe on Fridays or Saturdays.”

You’ll find it at your resort, or you can ask your private chef to cook it at your villa. However, there’s nothing quite like heading to a Bajan fish fry run by locals.

How Is It Made?

You can find recipes online, but here are the ingredients, according to Sandals.

The fish: 4 fillets of flying fish, lime juice, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.

The seasoning: Onion, garlic cloves, fresh ginger, scotch bonnet, thyme leaves, mixed spices, lime, vinegar, salt, and ground pepper.

For the sauce: Onion, garlic, pepper, tomato, thyme, curry powder, garlic powder, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper.

For the coucou: Cornmeal, water, okra, onion, and fresh thyme.