Trinidad and Tobago cuisine

Trinidad and Tobago cuisine

Trinidad and Tobago cuisine is indicative of the blends of Indian, Amerindian, European, African, Creole, Chinese and Lebanese gastronomic influences.[1][2]


Main meals

Breakfast dishes

Hot Breakfast: Popular Breakfast Fast Food - D roti which is usually served with:

Bodi (long beans), Baigan choka (roasted eggplant), Tomato Choka (Roasted Tomatoes), Aloo choka (fried potato),fried Plaintain, Stew chicken liver or gizzard, and the popular bake and shark

a sandwich considered a delicacy, is popular at Maracas Beach.

Fry Bake (a sweet, unleavened bread) usually served with: saltfish (dried and salted cod), buljol (saltfish with fresh peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and sometimes boiled eggs);Bacon, Fried Plaintain, Stew Chicken, Corn beef corned beef with onions and tomatoes.

Coconut bake (coconut bread) usually served with:fried accra (saltfish fritters), black pudding, Butter, Cheese paste, tannia cakes (fried dasheen cake) and boiled yucca with butter, fried plantain and buljol

Cold Breakfast: Various home-made breads, including: - roast bake - coconut bake - warm hops bread and Cheddar cheese; - or the popular local biscuits (crackers), "Crix" with anything. Bread and Sausage, Cheese or Saltfish.

Lunch and dinner

Curry Chicken and Roti

A nationally well known main dish of Trinidad and Tobago is curry chicken and roti. This dish was adopted from indentured labourers from India in the 19th century, 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-shot, 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, pigtails, thyme, coconut milk and shado beni (from "chardon bénit," French thistle or Fitweed) or bhandhanya (Hindi bandh dhanya, "closed cilantro") or cilantro. Callaloo is often served with cornmeal coo coo, plantain, cassava, sweet potatoes, dumplings and curried crab. Pelau (Hindi pilau), 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.

Curry Chicken skewer served with Eggplant Relish and Tomato chutney vinaigrette

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, tilapia and seasonal cascadura. 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 of the many recipes you are following.

Another local dish is 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.[3]

Street foods

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), curried shrimp roti, corn soup, geera chicken (Hindi jira, "cumin") and pork, 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 chadon beni (Eryngium foetidum), saheena, kachori (Hindi kachuri), aloo (Hindi alu, "potato") pies, fish 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.

Cold Street Snacks: On hot days, locals enjoy souse, ice-cream, 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 crema, egg nog and sorrel.

Special Divali foods include mohanboge lapse.

Special Eid foods include sawain, barfi rasgulla, and halwa.


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


There are many different popular beverages in Trinidad. These include, various sweet drinks (Sodas) (Chubby, Solo, Peardrax[4]), and also Malta, Smalta, Shandy, citrus juice, ginger beer, Guinness Beer, Peanut punch, channa (chickpea) punch, beet punch, sorrel, mauby, seamoss punch, barbadine punch, and soursop punch.

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.


Fruits available in Trinidad include mangoes (bastapool, button, belly-bef, calabash, cedar, cutlass, doudouce, Graham, ice-cream, Julie, long, pawpaw, Peter, rose, round, starch, teen, turpentine, vert, zabrico), breadfruit, sorrel (roselle), passion fruit, watermelons, sapodilla (Chikoo - Indian), pomerac (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), plum (Governor, King and common variety), West Indian (Barbadian) cherry (Acerola), bananas (sikyé, silk, Gros Michel, Lacatan), barbadine (granadilla), balatá, soursop, cashews, Tamarind (including Chinese variety), Series (deep purple coloured cherry), Pahdoo, Cocorite, 'Gru-Gru-beff', 'Fat-Pork', and coconuts (several varieties).[5]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sweet hands: island cooking from Trinidad & Tobago By Ramin Ganeshram, Jean-Paul Vellotti
  3. ^ *Allsopp, S.R. Richard (1998). In Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, with a French and Spanish Supplement. Oxford University Press. p. 138. ISBN 0198661525. Google Book Search. Retrieved on November 23, 2007.
  4. ^ Vanished UK drink is toast of Caribbean, an April 2007 article from the BBC website
  5. ^