“Eating Trini“, not “Eating Trinis“. No ‘s‘ there! I’m not advocating cannibalism; I’m not that nuts (yet). No, this post is about all the delicious local Trinidadian food you will find when you are on the island. It surrounds you, it can be obtained almost everywhere and at almost any time, as far as my experience goes. And, really, it’s very good.
It is also very intense. In terms of flavour and calorie content. Therefore, other very appropriate names for this post might have been „Weight Watcher’s Hell“, „How to gain 20 kilos in under a month“, or „No, I’m not hungry, but, yes, I will eat“.
I’m extremely lucky that I have, over time, developed a lot of willpower when it comes to eating – or not-eating, really. Otherwise I probably would have gained a lot of weight and I would have overeaten every single time an opportunity presented itself.
What I want to tell you about are some of the most typical Trinidadian foods, the ones you will find on many, many street corners, in every city, town and village. The ones everybody loves. Or should love, according to me and many of my friends. I will not mention every single dish there is, because I haven’t eaten every single dish there is and I think I might get you obese and diabetic by just making you read about the bulk of it. So, I’m limiting this to my favourites combined with the essentials.
Also, this is food only. No drinks. You’ll have to wait a while for the rum and the juices and the rum and the coffee and the rum and the soft drinks and the rum.
Another disclaimer: I am not including fast food in this, unless you count the street food as fast food, which I don’t. I’ve mentioned before that KFC and Subway are hugely popular in Trinidad – the KFC in Independence Square, Port of Spain, is said to be among the busiest in the whole world. Other fried chicken chains include Royal Castle Chicken, Church’s Chicken, Jap’s and Chirpee’s and on top of that there are hundreds of small non-chain fried chicken places. Yes, fried chicken is super important. And then there’s Mario’s and Boomer’s and Burger King and there are even two McDonalds, so no matter where you’re from you’ll find something that you recognize. Even chains like Wendy’s, Pollo Tropical, TGIF, Pizza Hut and Ruby Tuesday’s have made their way to Port of Spain. BUT that is not special to the island. It is the case all over the Caribbean and this here is about Trinidad only, so I want to concentrate on the food that is local not international, traditional not completely new and – most importantly – good not low-quality.
Let’s get to it.