Tasty Delights from Trinidad and Tobago | Food and Drinks

The Cosmopolitan mixture of Trinidad and Tobago has created foods that are unique, sensational, and much to brag about.  Our Indo foods are different because they have been creolized and are distinct from foods elsewhere that carry the same name. Here is a sample of some of our favorite foods. To be honest and this is not idle bragging, I honestly believe that Trinidad & Tobago has the best mix of mouth-watering food in the entire Caribbean area. Prove me wrong!

Buljol is saltfish (codfish) prepared with onions, tomatoes, avocado, and pepper. This food is one of my favorite and is best eaten with cassava (yucca), dumplings, young green figs (bananas), or dasheen. I prefer to eat it with cassava.

Callaloo (real Trini food, beware of the imitations that bear the same name) is a thick vegetable soup based on dasheen leaves or spinach. Many people put squash or pumpkin in the callaloo but as far as I am concerned callaloo without crab is not callaloo at all. Salted beef is also added by some locals. I don't feel comfortable using the term soup but most foreign writers use the term. Why don't I feel comfortable using the term soup? Now that is a simple decision to make; as far as a Trini is concerned a San Coche soup is eaten as the main dish. Callaloo is never used as a stand-alone dish. It is used on rice with meat on the side. Trinis use callaloo to enhance the meal, not as a meal on its own - hope that helps.

San Coche is what I like to call soup.  It is a combination of vegetables, peas (lentils), and meat (pigtail or salted beef), and when it cools becomes thick and really delicious. I also have a preference for tripe soup but most of all the best choice is the cow hell soup (if you can top that let me know).

Coo Coo made from cornmeal goes best with fish. Curry fish or stewed fish done Trinidadian style with a nice pepper (best eaten hot). OMG Fish Broth is delicious - you have to try it.

Doubles are curried chickpeas (channa) served with two pieces of fried bara bread. Make sure that you have a good peppered sauce to go with it.

Dumplings are a must in Tobago; particularly good with crab. Yes, yes, yes, my mouth is watering just thinking about curry crab and dumplings.

'Hops' is a crusty bread roll, very delicious when eaten fresh from the oven. Hops and cheese is a treat.

Pastelles - hallacas in Venezuela - is a Christmas delicacy consisting of maize and flour parcels stuffed with minced meat, olives, capers, and raisins, steamed in a banana leaf.

Pelau is a delicious dish made of rice, peas, and meat cooked together with vegetables.

Pholourie 'nuggets' are a small cake (fritter) made with split peas or another vegetable (excellent with a good peppered curry mango).

Roti, a chapatti (non-whole-wheat) it looks like a pancake (a really big one and not thick!) and is served in a variety of ways. It is delicious whether filled with, beef, chicken, shrimp, a variety of spicy stews, or vegetable curries. The ingredients and 'wrapped' in the roti 'skin' (we say roti skin in Trinidad to represent the rolled and roasted dough (roti).  There are many versions of the roti that includes Paratha (aka buss-up-shot) with my personal favorite being the Dhalpuri that is made with yellow split peas, Sadha, Dosti, and aloo purie (potato). My favorite is the dhal puri served with curried chicken, beef, or goat (I just love the goat roti) …yummy.  Of course, a little curry or masala mango on the side won't hurt at all.  I remember as a child my mother made a version with sweet potatoes (now that was creative and delicious).

Souce is great. If you have never tried it, don't be put off when you are told it is pig's feet maybe you can try the chicken feet souse. It is our way of pickling the meat and with cucumbers the taste is delightful.

Saheena consists of deep-fried patties of spinach, young dasheen leaves, and split peas served with a mango sauce (peppered of course).

Bake-an-Shark is a spicy fried bread sandwich of fried shark with a variety of sauces such as tamarind and garlic (take a look at the Bizzare Foods Clip in the Food and Drinks category).

Local Drinks:

Ginger beer is a nonalcoholic drink made from the tuberous roots of the plant 'Zingiber Officinale'. I love it when it burns your throat after swallowing.  

Mauby is a refreshing local drink made from the bark of the tree Colubrina reclinata. It has a reputation of acting as good ‘cooling’ drink. It is better to get the Mauby bark and boil it to make your own drink. Most of the bottled Mauby drinks have way too much sugar added.

Rum punches are recommended. Fresh lime juice is also recommended – sometimes served with a dash of Angostura bitters.

Babash, this is the local brew (illegal of course). So why did I include Babash here? Simply put 10 Cane Rum (Moet Hennesey Company operating in Trinidad) patterned their brew on this classic local blend. So when in Trinidad try to get a sample. It is best when left to "cure/ripe" with prunes inside (but yuh did not learn that from this blog ok).

Carib is the ‘official’ beer of Trinidad and Tobago is brewed at home. There are many stories about Carib beer some of which I will feature in future posts.
This information without my notes can be obtained at:

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