Trini Cuisine 

Trinidad and Tobago is not just about sightseeing. There is so much more behind the sun, sand and the sea. These two little islands are loaded with flavor and packed with taste.

In this blog I will like to highlight the top five foods one must try when visiting this beautiful twin island. Although there are so much more, this is the five that made the cut on my personal list of island cuisine.

Amy’s Must Try Trini Foods:

1) Doubles

Doubles
Doubles

What is doubles ? This is curried channa (chickpeas) that is eaten between two baras with a hint of pepper to your liking. Sometimes, it can even be enjoyed with shredded pieces of chicken, beef or even shrimp.   This for me is a weekend special. While awaiting lunch on a Saturday or Sunday morning I normally have two doubles with plenty pepper. Sometimes cucumber, mango or tamberine sauce also gives doubles a unique flavor that many Trini people as well as tourists enjoy.

2) Callaloo

Callaloo
Callaloo

This is made with spinach or “dasheen bush” as our Trinis refer to it. It is mixed with ochro and coconut milk for flavor. Crab or pigtail can be added for extra enjoyment. This is often eaten alongside white rice.

Tobago-December-2010-382

3)Crab and Dumplings

This is a favorite when visiting the sister isle of Tobago. Curry crab and dumplings are mostly available all year round and it is very accessible when at Tobago since most of the food outlets offer this. I must admit it is a heavy dish since the dumplings tend to full you very fast.

Richard's Bake and Shark
Richard’s Bake and Shark

4) Bake and Shark

When visiting Maracas you are most definitely overwhelmed by the amount of vendors there are selling bake and shark. My personal favorite just happens to be Richard’s Bake and Shark. He offers a wide variety of vegetables to add to your sandwich making it even more enjoyable and personalized to your liking. This consists of deeply fried shark eaten inside fried bread or bake.

Pelau
Pelau

5) Pelau

This is one of the simpler dishes in Trinidad and Tobago. It consists of rice which takes a brownish color cooked with peas and carrots as well as meat such as chicken, beef or even pork. Trinis enjoy this meal since it is easy to prepare when going on a “lime.”

If you haven’t tried the dishes that I have mentioned above I urge you to. They are undoubtedly a must have when in Trinidad and Tobago. These meals have helped in forming the rich island cuisine that we are known for. Apart from coming to Trinidad and Tobago just to enjoy the beautiful beaches and weather we also have tons of dishes that are guaranteed to savor your taste buds. Don’t be afraid, I promise you’ll like it 🙂

Tobago Heritage Festival

Tobago Heritage Festival
Tobago Heritage Festival

One of the things I love the most about beautiful Tobago is The Tobago Heritage Festival. This festival starts from the middle of July to early August and it is a means by which Tobagonians preserve their culture by dressing up and depicting the different traditions and early life on the island. What this really is about is that every village perform a unique element which represents the history of the area. The performance is filled with rhythm from the beating of drums and entertainment with dancing and singing. Just as carnival in Trinidad, it is considered to be the main event in Tobago.

Some of the stories depicted in the Tobago Heritage Festival are The Tobago Ole Time Wedding, Natural Festivals Day, Superstitions and Folklore, Wake and Bongo, Sea Festival and Boat Christening. I have chosen to give you a brief overview of two that I found fascinated and that have encouraged me to do deeper research.

1) The Tobago Ole Time Wedding showcases the traditional wedding. It starts with the

Tobago Ole Time Wedding
Tobago Ole Time Wedding

Bachelor Night which includes lots of music and runs into the Bridal Affair on the morning of the wedding. This shows how the bride gets ready for her big day. After the wedding there is also the reception and the wedding concludes with food and speeches from various people. What makes this so unique from weddings today is the way in which people dressed. Not only the males in their black three piece suits, white gloves and umbrellas to shade their ladies but the women in their elegant gowns and beautiful jewelry pieces.

Douens
Douens

2) Tobago is filled with stories of mythical beings. Some of these include the stories of the Soucouyant, La Diablesse, Lugarhoo and Douens. At the Tobago Heritage Festival there is a special performace called Superstitions and Folklore where these creatures are portrayed since they play a major role in shaping the culture and history of Tobago. These myths are mainly based on devil and hunting stories.

The Tobago Heritage Festival is a great means of showing the younger generation life on the island in previous years. Although I have never experienced this festival it grabbed my attention while doing research. I believe that this is a great incentive by the various communities and a great way to preserve the rich culture and history of the island. I am most definitely looking forward to being apart of this event in the near future.