governor plum

Cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago

The Cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago is indicative of the blends of Amerindian, European, African, Creole, Indian, Chinese and Lebanese gastronomic influences.


Fruits available in Trinidad include mangoes (bastapool, belly-bef, calabash, cedar, cutlass, doudouce, Graham, ice-cream, Julie, long, pawpaw, Peter, rose, round, starch, teen, turpentine, vert, zab(r)ico, breadfruit, sorrel (roselle), passion fruit, watermelons, sapodillas, pomeracs (Syzygium samarangense), guavas, Tahitian apple (pommecythère or golden apple), caimite (star apple), abiu, five fingers (carambola), cherries, zaboca (avocado), pawpaw (papaya), chenette (mamoncillo), pineapples, oranges, Portugal (clementines of various genetic breeding), governor plum, West Indian (Barbadian) cherry (Acerola), bananas (sikyé, silk, Gros Michel, Lacatan), barbadine (granadilla), balata (Ausubo, Manilkara bidentata), soursop, cashews, and coconuts (several varieties).

Main meals

Breakfast dishes

Many dishes are popular choices for the morning meal in Trinidad and Tobago.

Hot Breakfasts: Sada roti with bodi (cowpeas), doubles, bake (a sweet, unleavened bread) and shark, fry bake (a fried bread like a Jonnycake), fried aloo (potato), roasted baigan (eggplant, aubergine or melongene), tomato choka (often served with roti), saltfish (dried and salted cod), buljol (saltfish with fresh peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and sometimes boiled eggs); black pudding with home-made coconut bread; fried accra (saltfish fritters); tannia cakes (fried dasheen cake) and boiled cassava with butter; fried fig (green banana) with saltfish; fried left-over provisions (root vegetables such as cassava and dasheen) with saltfish; fried corned beef with onions and tomatoes.

Cold Breakfasts: Various home-made breads, including roast bake, coconut bake, warm hops bread and New Zealand cheddar cheese; or the popular local biscuits (crackers), "Crix" with anything.

Lunch and dinner

A nationally well-known main dish of Trinidad and Tobago is curry chicken and roti. This dish was adopted from Indian roots, where other favourite local dishes include: curry crab, curry shrimp, curry duck, curry aloo (potato). These meals are often served with various rotis such as dalpuri, bus-up-shut, and of course sada. In addition, Trinidadians often add various pepper sauces to their meals, for example, "mother-in-law", as well as curry mango, chataigne (breadnut), channa, pumpkin, or mango kuchela.

Another very popular and nationally well-known dish with distinctly African roots is callaloo, a creamy and spicy side dish made of dasheen leaves, ochro or okra, crab, thyme, coconut milk and shado beni (from "chardon bénit," French thistle or Fitweed) or bhandhanya or cilantro. Callaloo is often prepared with cornmeal coo coo, plantain (similar to a banana), cassava, sweet potatoes, and sometimes made with crab. Pelau, a rice-based dish, is a very popular dish in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as stewed chicken, breadfruit oil down, macaroni pie, pepperpot, ox-tails, among many others.

Trinbagonian dishes are often stewed, barbecued, or curried with coconut milk.

An array of fish can be bought at local merchants throughout Trinidad and Tobago, such as flying fish, king fish, carite, sapatay, red fish, bonito, lobster, conch and crab. Tobagonian food is dominated by a wide selection of seafood dishes, most notably, curried crab and dumplings, and Tobago is also known for its sumptuously prepared provisions, soups and stews, also known as blue food across the country.

A popular Trini dish is Macaroni Pie, a macaroni pasta bake, with eggs and cheese, and a variety of other potential ingredients according to which particular one of the many recipes you are following.

Another local dish includes the rare delicacy cascadu (cascadura),which is a small fresh water fish. There is a local legend in Trinidad that s/he who eats cascadu will return to Trinidad to end their days.

Street foods

Hot Street Foods: Popular freshly-prepared street foods include doubles, phulourie, bake and shark (particularly at a Maracas Bay, a popular beach on the North coast), corn soup, geera chicken and pork, raw oysters (usually where there is a lighted flambeau) with a spicy sweet/hot sauce mainly with culantro (chadon beni), saheena, kachorie, aloo (potato) pies, fish pies, cheese pies, beef pies (many Trinidadian neighbourhoods boast a local Pie-Man), and pows (steamed buns filled with meat, of Chinese origin, typically Char Siu Pork).

Cold Street Snacks: On hot days, locals enjoy souse, sno-cones (served in various colours, flavours and shapes, often with sweetened condensed milk), ice-pops, freezies, coconut slushies and fresh coconut jelly.

Festival foods

Special Christmas foods include pastelles (called hallaca in Venezuela where they originated), garlic pork (carne vinha-d'alhos, a Portuguese dish), boiled or baked ham, turkey, pigeon peas, fruit cake (or black cake), ginger beer, ponche-de-crème and sorrel.

Special Divali foods include barfi and prasad.

Special Eid foods include sawain.


The popular local desserts are usually extremely sweet. Local snacks include cassava or potato pone and stewed guavas, sweetbread, paw paw balls, tamarind balls, bene balls, toolum, guava cheese (guava paste), jub jub and sugar cakes. Local chocolatiers and confectioners manufacture several different types of sweet treats. Indian delicacies like kurma, gulab jamun, ladoo and barfi are also popular.


There are many different popular beverages in Trinidad. These include, various sweet drinks (Sodas) (Chubby, Solo, Peardrax), and also Malta, Smalta, Shandy, portugal juice, ginger beer, sorrel, mauby, seamoss punch, barbadine punch, and soursop punch.

Coconut water is found on almost every metre of 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.

See also


External links

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