Black Foodie: Five Must Have Trinidadian Foods

Writing for Caribbean 360, food critic Greg Hoyos discusses five Trini foods that timid foodies must try while visiting Trinidad & Tobago. Hoyos writes:

“I’m not an adventurous food critic with a taste for the exotic but I do know what I like. My mum was born and raised in Trinidad, so technically I’m half Trini, but that doesn’t make me less timid or exploratory when it comes to their cuisine. In fact, I’m downright squeamish. But T&T, as we call that fabulous country (the other T being Tobago, of course) boasts a truly remarkable cuisine, with something for everyone.

One major reason is the melange of nationalities and cultures who settled there, each bringing their own gastronomic wonders with them. Here are 5 favourites our neighbors do exceptionally well.”

Check out three of Hoyos’ five must-try Trini foods below:


Doubles. (Photo: Singh's Roti & Doubles)

(Photo: Singh’s Roti & Doubles)

These are a distinctive and delicious Trini special food, enjoyed any time of day. Take a sandwich made with two fried flat bread slices (called baras locally), fill it with chick peas and add your choice of cucumber, mango, coconut, tamarind and hot pepper sauce. Funny story: Wikipedia reports that the name evolved because early customers kept asking for not one, but two slices of bara, hence “doubles”. But whatever you call it, you won’t forget it.


Roti. (Photo: Pinterest)

(Photo: Pinterest)

Trinidad may not have invented this dish, but arguably they perfected it. There are two main Trini styles of roti: “buss up shot”, and dhalpuri. I always thought buss up shot sounded like something deadly and to be avoided, but it simply means that roti dough is “busted open” on the stovetop just before it’s done cooking. You’re left with what looks like a mess of shredded roti, until you add curried chicken or whatever filling you choose. It’s delicious.

Dhalpuri is simply the roti (it means “bread” in Hindi) with a ground split pea filling inside; think of stuffed-crust pizza, only flatter. Wrap that around anything you want: pumpkin, beef, potatoes, chutney, chicken – all spiced to make your mouth water. Enjoy!

Bake ‘n Shark

Bake n' Shark (Photo: Google Images)

Bake n’ Shark
(Photo: Google Images)

I [Greg Hoyos] confess this sounds unappetizing to me, but that’s my non-Trini half talking. A bake is simply a small loaf of unleavened dough which becomes a vessel for any one of an array of fillings. Shark is a fresh steak of fish fried and seasoned accordingly. Put them together, and bingo, food nirvana.

Read more at Caribbean 360.

Did your favorites make the list? Share your favorite Trini foods with us on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire.

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