Trinidad and Tobago cuisine is the cuisine of the Caribbean island state of Trinidad and Tobago. It reflects a fusion of African (mainly West African), Creole, Indian–South Asian, Chinese, Amerindian, Arab, European, and Latin American–Spanish–Portuguese cuisines.
Popular freshly prepared street foods include:
- Indian foods like doubles, aloo pie, pholourie, saheena, baiganie, pyajni, kachori, and samosas. Wrap roti (using paratha or dhalpuri) consists of roti that wraps curried vegetables, curried channa (chickpeas) and aloo (potatoes), curried chicken, curried shrimp, curried goat, curried duck, curried conchs, and other spicy fillings. Indian sweets are also popular, especially around Hindu holidays. Debe in South Trinidad is a popular destination for these foods.
- Bake and shark (most popular at Maracas Beach along the north coast of Trinidad) is a fried dish that is topped with fresh fruit like pineapple; vegetables like cucumber and salad; and a variety of sauces and seasonings.
- Souse is made from pig, cow or chicken feet and seasoned with onion, garlic, salt, pimento, scotch bonnet peppers, lemon and chadon beni. It is served warm (mostly) or slightly chilled (room temperature). It is also rumoured to be a cure to hangovers.
Other common street foods include wontons, corn soup, geera (cumin) pork, geera chicken, kebeabs, gyros, pasteles, raw oysters (usually sold at stalls where there is a lighted kerosene torch or flambeau, with a spicy sweet/hot sauce mainly with cilantro or bandhaniya aka shadon beni aka culantro), fish pies, macaroni pies, cheese pies, beef pies (many Trinidadian neighbourhoods boast a local pie-man), and pows (Cantonese pao-tzu < baaozi, steamed wrapped roll with savoury or sweet filling – steamed buns filled with meat, typically char siu pork). Sausage rolls are also eaten as midday snacks and are available at stands usually found along the nation’s streets.
When in season, roast and boiled corn on the cob can be found any time day or night.
On festive occasions (Carnival, Borough Day and most public holidays), street foods also include wild meat such as deer, iguana, manicou (opossum), tatou (armadillo), and agouti, to name a few. These are prepared either as a creole or curry dish, and served with a wide choice of local pepper sauces.
On hot days, locals enjoy ice cream, snow cones (served in various colours, flavours and shapes, often sweetened with condensed milk), ice pops, kulfi, freezies, sucker bag, coconut slushies, coconut water, and fresh coconut jelly.
Special Christmas foods include appetisers like pastelles (called hallaca in Venezuela where they originated), pholourie, saheena, baiganee, kachori, and chicken or pork pies. Entrees include garlic ham (carne vinha-d’alhos, a Portuguese dish), baked ham, baked turkey or chicken, macaroni pie, fish pie, garlic roasted potatoes, grilled or barbecued meat (chicken, shrimp, fish, or lamb), corn, pigeon peas, Christmas (also called Spanish or festive) rice, fried rice, chow mein, lo mein, Chinese roast chicken, pepper shrimp, different types of curries (chicken, goat, duck, fish, shrimp, crab, baigan, channa and aloo), roti, and dal bhat (rice). Desserts include fruitcake, blackcake (rum cake), sweet bread, cassava pone, coconut drops, sponge cake, chocolate cake, black forest cake, raisin/currants roll, burfi, khurma, and laddu. Drinks include soda, coconut water, juices (mango, orange, or cranberry), ginger beer, ponche crema, egg nog, cocoa tea, and sorrel.
Special Diwali, Navratri, Phagwah, Ram Navami, Krishna Janmashtami, Mahashivratri, Vasant Panchami, Hanuman Jayanti, Ganesh Chaturthi and other Hindu festivals foods include mohan bhog (parsad), lapsi and suhari, burfi, khurma, gulab jamoon, pera, rasgulla, rasmalai, batasa, gujiya, roat, kheer, laddu, jalebi, halwa, roti (dalpuri, puri, sada roti, dosti roti, paratha, aloo paratha), curry mango, dal bhat, kharhi, murtanie (Mother-in-law), channa aur aloo (curried chickpeas and potatoes), curry katahar or chataigne (curry breadnut), and other vegetarian curries, tarkaries, and Indian dishes and desserts.
There are many different popular beverages in Trinidad. These include, various sweet drinks [sodas] (Chubby’s, Busta, LLB (Lemon Lime and Bitters), Solo, Peardrax, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Sprite), Malta, Smalta, Shandy, citrus juice, ginger beer, Guinness Beer, peanut punch, channa (chickpea) punch, beet punch, sorrel, mauby, seamoss punch, barbadine punch, soursop punch and paw paw punch.
Carib and Stag beers are very popular local lager beers. There is also Carib Light and Carib Shandys, which come in Sorrel, Ginger, and Lime flavours.
Coconut water can be found throughout the island. Rum was invented in the Caribbean, therefore Trinidad and Tobago boasts rum shops all over the island, serving local favourites such as ponche-de-crème, puncheon rum, and home-made wines from local fruits. Homemade alcohol is popular also. Bitters (especially the one made by House of Angostura) is also popular.
Content c/o Wikipedia