Trinidadian Cuisine

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Trinidadian Cuisine

Trinidadian Cuisine is markedly an ethnic complexity. A common meal of Trinidadian cuisine with Creole culture will consist of stewed chicken, fried plantains, red beans, white rice, and ginger beer – which is usually made at home. Indian influenced meals in Trinidad will often include potatoes, curried chicken, white rice, channa (Indian garbanzo beans), and roti – an Indian flatbread. Chinese influenced meals found in Trinidadian cuisine are most often a version of chow mein.

All of these differing styles are nevertheless considered simultaneously as national dishes. Metaphors for the variant food styles are made up to represent the nations of influence. The Creoles will say that Trinidadians are ethnically “mixed-up” like callaloo – a soup containing crab as well as dasheen leaves. A typical Tobago meal is what they will call a Crab and Dumplings dish.

As a nation-wide society, cleanliness, when it comes to preparing food, is of utmost concern. When preparing Trinidadian cuisine, the cooks keep their hands well washed, the cookwares well cleaned, and the ingredients are kept fresh and rinsed clean.

There are some interesting customs within Trinidadian Cuisine when it comes to ceremonial occasions.

In some regions, the customs and taboos remain from the indigenous Trinidadian Indians. But in other regions, the old customs around food are either reinterpreted, or adapted into new forms, or considered no longer relevant. All across Trinidad, it is a societal characteristic to laud those who are generous with their food, and especially so during ceremonial occasions.

Hindu, Muslim, and Christian festivals are held in Trinidad, and the Creoles are now quite knowledgeable about the Native Indian rites as well. Food – Trinidadian cuisine, in its many forms – always plays a major factor in any of the traditional festivals and ceremonies of the Muslims and Hindus. When Christian families are celebrating, ham and pastelles, and sorrel (made from a flower) are traditional fare. And for Christmas, especially beloved and always served is a sort of eggnog and rum drink, which they call ponche de creme.

But enough of history and background. Let’s get into what you really came here for, as an ethnic food adventurer and lover of great new cuisines to try. Click on the dish names listed below, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with that recipe on it. And enjoy your culinary trip into the wonderful world of …

Trinidadian Cuisine!

Chana Masala – Trini Style

Culantro Garlic Butter

Culantro Garlic Butter Steamed Fish

Curried Chicken – Trini Style

Curried Duck – Trini Style

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