Barbadians, also called Bajans, enjoy debating the fine points of their local lore. And in this instance, New Englanders may feel right at home here. Many locals pronounce the word “cuttah.’’
A basic Barbados cutter consists of a salt bread bun sliced and filled with cheese, flying fish (caught off the coast here), pork, or, most often, ham. The cushy white yeast bread is baked fresh or sold in stores. Though most Bajan baked goods are sweet, a legacy of the island’s sugar industry days, this one is not. Lettuce and tomato often garnish a cutter; also required is the national hot sauce — either a spicy red version or a mustard-base golden sauce whose active ingredient is Scotch bonnet pepper.
A cutter with a bottle of locally brewed Banks beer should set you back no more than $7. The sandwiches have the added attraction of an on-the-go snack; the fillings are so variable, you never know what you’ll find between the bun. Locals know that cutters soak up many rounds of rum. To that end, over 1,000 rum shops on the island are the primary dispensers of cutters.