Cou-Cou Stick

wooden cou-cou stick
wooden cou-cou stick

One of my best memories as a child was walking out to the kitchen and seeing my grandma or one of my aunts cooking. I remember hearing the casual conversation in the dining room and the pots clattering and food bubbling. Living in a house with people who love food caused me to see food as a way to show love. Food is a big part of Caribbean culture. It brings families and communities together. Ever since I was a child I looked forward to learning how to make cou-cou. Cou-cou makes up part of the National dish of Barbados.  Cou-cou with something savory or spicy like flying fish or curry. It is traditionally made using a cou-cou stick. A cou-cou stick is a long flat wooden paddle that works similar to a spatula. In my family, learning how to make cou-cou is a special milestone. Every person in my family learns at some point in their life and when they are taught the same cou-cou stick is used every time. Unfortunately I don’t have the original one from before my family immigrated to America. The original was broken way before my mothers birth. The one that we currently have replaced the broken one and has been in my family ever since. My family believes that good cou-cou can only be made with a cou-cou stick. And that cou-cou stick must come from Barbados. Whenever someone handles the cou-cou stick my Grandma is always quick to warn us “Don’t break this one. I’ll have to go all the way back to Barbados for another”

Place(s): Barbados

– Alanni Browne-Jones

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant