Trinidadian cuisine comes in many flavors. The following is an overview of the most popular dishes in Trinidad & Tobago.
Popular Creole Dishes in T&T
Many conside pelau to be Trinidad’s national dish. Pelau is a main dish that contains rice, vegtables and chicken. The chicken is fried on a pot in a sugar caramelized sauce. Onions, garlic , peas are added to give the rice and vegetables extra flavor. Pelau is often cooked in coconut milk.
Callaioo is a generic name that Trinis give to a variety of plates. Callaloo is the name used in the Caribbean to refer to the green leafy vegetable – spinach. It is also used to refer the same leafy green vegetable, sometimes called bhajgee (bah-gee). Callaloo is also the name of a very famous soup like stew made in Trinidad and Tobago. The leaves are cooked or boiled and can be mixed with various ingredients like Okra, crab or pork. Callaloo is often served with Coocoo
Coocoo is a dish made out of cornmeal and okra. It is often cooked in the vapor of coconut milk and often looks like an Italian polenta.
Corn Soup, San coche and cowheel
The origins of corn soup date back to the days of slavery but corn soup continues to be a popular dish in Trinidad and Tobago. Corn soup consists of peas, corn and wheat. San coche is a soup based on lentils and porc tail. Cowheel soup contains peas and beef.
Crab and Dumpling
Crab and dumpling is the main dish of Tobago. As you may have guessed, the main ingredient is crab cooked in curry and coconut milke. It is served with dumplings, which are often 2 round balls of cooked wheat.
“Oil down” refers to the cooking method by which vegetables are stewed in coconut milk until all of the milk is absorbed and just a bit of coconut oil is left in the bottom of the pan. Breadfruit is often used.
Pastelles are often served during Christmas and their origins can be traced back to the Spanish occupation. One of Trinidad’s seasonal delights, pastelles are a steamed cornmeal pie wrapped in banana leaves and filled with stewed meat, olives, and raisins. It is typically made from beef, pork or chicken.
Bake and shark
Bake and Shark is a very popular street food sold in Trinidad and Tobago. It is one of those must-try items for visitors to the twin-island Republic and for locals, a week without eating Bake and Shark would just seem unnatural. Bake refers to fried dough and the shark is actual shark. The shark is seasoned with green seasoning, along with salt and pepper, breaded and pan fried. The place with the best bake and shark in all of Trinidad is the beach of Maracas Bay.
acra is a puffy fried dough ball, made of a highly seasoned dough into which shredded saltfish has been mixed.
Coconut bake a thick Caribbean flat bread popular in Trinidad and Tobago. With flour as its main ingredient, Coconut bake is actually bread. A slice of coconut bake is notorious for putting one straight to sleep on a full belly. This pastry is widely known in the Caribbean as being very fulfilling, but also makes a great snack.
Jerk Fish and Jerk Chicken
Although this is actualy popular Jamaican dishes, they are also quite popular in Trinidad and Tobago. Jerk is a form of BBQ in which the meat is cured n herbs and spices then smoked using local hardwoods.
Popular Indian Dishes in T&T
When it comes to curry, Trini’s know how to use it! In Trinidad just about every possible food can be curried from meats to vegetables and fruits. Some of the most popular curry dishes in Trinidad & Tobago include Curry Goat, Curry Chicken, Curry Crab and Curry Chicken. Trinidad’s most popular foods – rotis, doubles are loaded with curries for flavor.
The Roti is basically a sandwich or a wrap. You can find someone selling Roti on just about every street in Trinidad. In Trinidad just about every possible food could be curried, everything from beef, chicken, eggplants, fish, goat, green tomatoes, lamb, mangos, okra, pork, potatoes, pumpkins and shrimp. This curried stew is typically served in a roti wrap. A Roti is a thin flat bread that makes this look almost like a Caribbean style taco. Traditional roti is a curry stew with the roti bread served separately. A good Roti is prepared in front of you when you order it.
Doubles is a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a sandwich made with two bara (flat fried bread) filled with channa (curried chick peas). Doubles are very similar to Rotis but are often smaller and are typically vegetarian.