Exploring the culinary richness of Trinidad and Tobago
Who doesn't love good food? Good food is always a plus and a visit to Trinidad and Tobago is in every sense a mouthwatering, delectable and savory culinary treat! The question one may ask is how this is so and the focus of this story is to address exactly that- the culinary richness of this twin-island Republic, located just off Venezuela. In this land where there is a melting pot of so many ethnicities and cultures, there is always diversity at the heart of good eating.
In Trinidad and Tobago you can never run out of food options! Fast food lovers would be happy to learn that Trinidad and Tobago is the home of fast food and you can always find a KFC, MacDonald's, Royal Castle, Pizza Hut, Pizza Boys, Wendy's, Little Caesars, Papa John's, or Subway joint. This is just a tip of the iceberg.
Food in Trinidad and Tobago is synonymous with flavorful seasonings, being spicy and being absolutely delicious. Known as the home of doubles, rich curried chick peas served between two flat fried doughs called bharas and served with various chutneys like tamarind sauce, mango, cucumber chutney, 'sweet sauce' and roasted coconut from their favorite doubles vendor. Getting doubles is a big thing in Trinidad- quite literally it is breakfast for many! For some it is a weekend treat one must have or an evening after work snack! Having doubles is not just something Trinidadians enjoy, but it is also something tourists look forward to! Nothing beats stopping off at a roadside food vendor and having your doubles hot on the spot!
With lockdown measures being implemented in the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic one of the challenges it presented for Trinidadians was restaurants and roadside food vendors being temporarily closed. It resulted in many learning to make their own doubles and posting on social media sharing their experiences!
Some doubles vendors also carry an assortment of fried pies like aloopies (a pie filled with boiled potato which is well seasoned and mixed with geera, then fried), saheena (a pie made with rolled callaloo bush that has been cut after being pasted with split peas mixed with seasoning and salt) and bhaiganee (a pie that is filled with eggplant and whose dough can be made with flour or split peas) which are also tasty delicacies. The good news about each of these is that they can be served with any of the sauces that are used to serve doubles.
Being on the islands provides another treat in that it is always easy to find a coconut vendor at the side of the road. Coconut water is refreshing and can really quench your thirst especially if you know a vendor who has coconuts with sweet corn coconut water.