Conkies, Barbados Pocket Guide


Barbados' famous conkie is a corn based traditional dish which is also referred to as stew dumpling. It has been said that conkies have been derived from a Ghanaian dish called 'kenkey', a similarly prepared corn meal dish. 

Originally conkies were prepared on Guy Fawkes Day (November 5th). The reason for this is not clear but it is believed that it was to celebrate the survival of King James I from the attempted assassination on this very day.

The tranquil beautiful island of Barbados was claimed by Captain John Powell in the name of King James I many years ago, therefore a day celebrated annually in Great Britain would hold merit in Barbados amidst those earlier years while under the British Colony. 

Today conkies are made and sold throughout the month of November, the reason dates back to the year of 1966. On November 30th of that year Barbados became independent, truly making November a special month full of celebrations in memory of our great accomplishments. Barbados stands true to tradition and creating value in making our culture unique and exciting. Conkies are a prime example of true Bajan tradition, with the use of spices, sugar, pumpkin, our very own local corn flour, coconut and the optional use of raisins or cherries all wrapped in a banana leaf. 

The banana leaf has to be put in boiling water before use and the filling is wrapped in these leaves until cooked. Sold in supermarkets and some restaurants through out Barbados, this sweet and tasty meal is served hot, enclosed in a banana leaf, brimming with flavor and spices to titillate the senses. It can be eaten as a snack or as a meal.

Conkies are truly a delicacy worthy to celebrate Barbados' freedom and independence. Come celebrate our culture with us and share with friends and family the delicacy known as conkies. 

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