Barbadians love their food and even more so at Christmas. Here are five items which make a truly Bajan Christmas meal.

Baked ham

Nearly every Christmas table in Barbados will have a baked ham on it, ready to be carved and enjoyed, along with many other delicious festive treats.

The meat is scored and then studded with a few cloves. A pineapple, mustard and brown sugar glaze can be added before or during cooking.  

Jug Jug

Jug Jug is influenced by the island’s deep connections to Scotland. The side dish is based on haggis except it’s made from pigeon or green peas, guinea corn flour, herbs and salt meat.

Jug Jug is the perfect accompaniment to baked ham and turkey.

Great Cake / Black Cake

Great Cake, also known as Black Cake, is made with a combination of dried fruits such as cherries, raisins, and prunes.

Several spices including cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg are also added along with nuts and a generous amount of alcohol which can be rum, port wine, or falernum.

Some like their cake plain while others have it topped with royal icing.


Sorrel is closely associated with Christmas in Barbados but now, thanks to commercial production, it can be enjoyed all year round.

Made from the leaves of the sorrel plant, the drink has a deep red colour. It is usually mixed with spices, ginger, orange zest and / or cloves to give it added flavour and the distinct smell of the holidays.

Bajan stuffing

The Bajan twist on stuffing involves making it into a tasty side dish and not just a filling for turkey or pork.

Soak savoury biscuits or crackers and add diced sweet peppers, celery and onions with scotch bonnet pepper for some added spice.

If your Christmas table has all these mouthwatering goodies there should be very few leftovers!

Merry Christmas and a happy 2022.

Sources: / Barbados Pocket Guide / Loop Barbados