Trinidad food & much more

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Nov 23 06:58:19 UTC 2003

   Greetings from Trinidad.
   The Guyana National Library was a bust.  It was filled with grade school kids.  Many books were missing; the books not missing were none too good.  Not much of a National Library.  Two books of interest are GUYANESE SPEECH (1974?) by Derek Bickerton, and GUYANESE SEED OF SOUL: HOW TO PREPARE WEST INDIAN FOODS (1980, R&M Publishing Company, Marian, South Carolina, 83 pages) by Yvonne John.

GREEN BUBBLE GUM SODA--Seen both in Trinidad and Guyana.

HAAGEN-DAZS "TOBAGO"--"A refreshing infusion of vanilla and fresh orange juice for that wake up shake from the island in the sun."  Seen at the H. D. store here in Trinidad.  Is this sold in the States?

ABC ISLANDS--Aruba, that other one, and Curacao.  OED?

STEERING GLOVE--Someone was selling these circular things at a red light in Trinidad.  It goes around your steering wheel (not on your hands).  It's popular here.

SWEET HAND--From the 2003 edition of INS & OUTS OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, 2003 edition,, pg. 108:  "There's a thing in Trinidad and Tobago known as 'sweet hand.'  It refers to an individual's ability to cook food of exceptional tastiness, the culinary equivalent of a green thumb."

BANANABERRY--A smoothie shop in Trinidad sells this, along with the usual Caribbean Breeze and Island Paradise.  Is "bananaberry" now one word?  There are about 700 Google hits.

BUFFALYPSO--Also in my room is a menu GUIDE TO DINING AND NIGHTLIFE IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 2003.  The Seahorse Inn,, offers, on page 45, "BUFFALYPSO T-BONE  Produced from the descendants of the original herd that came to the island over 300 years ago.  Totally organic with a distinct flavor: A large 18oz (uncooked weight) premium cut steak, char-grilled as you wish.  Served with a pepperonatta sauce of stewed onions, bell and chili peppers."  There are over 100 Google hits for "buffalypso," mostly from Trinidad.

YUCASSOISE--From the same booklet, The Chaconia Hotel, The Maravilla Room, pg. 22: "YUCASSOISE  A Cuban deliquesce made from local Cassava."  No "Vichy-" connection?  There are 41 Google hits.

Media and Editorial Projects Ltd.
Port of Spain
136 pages (found in hotel room)

Pg. 50:  _Street food:_  Street food is a big part of our culinary culture, and you shouldn't leave these shores without sampling doubles, a wildly popular Indian breakfast snack.  Or shark-and-bake, best purchased from the vendors at Maracas Beach.  Phulouri, corn coup, corn on the cob, souse, and jerk chicken and pork are other late-night street favourites.

_Buljol:_  Salted codfish shredded and seasoned with pepper, onions, tomatoes and olive oil, served in hops or bake.
_Callaloo:_  Made from spinach-like dasheen leaves, with okra and other ingredients that may include coconut and pig-tail.
_Corn soup:_  A split peas-based soup with corn and dumplings.
_Cou-cou:_  Often served with callaloo, this mixture of cornmeal, okra and butter is boiled and stirred till firm enough to be sliced.
_Doubles:_  A popular Indian snack consisting of a soft, fried flour-and-split pea shell filled with curried chick peas.
_Hops:_  A roll of white bread, similar to a hamburger bun, only crisper.
_Macaroni pie:_  This macaroni, milk and cheese dish is baked and often accompanied by stewed meat and peas.
_Pastelles:_  A Christmas specialty similar to Spanish tamales--spiced ground meat with raisins and olives wrapped in a casing of cornmeal and steamed in banana leaves.
_Pelau:_  A one-pot dish of rice, pigeon peas and meat, often cooked in coconut milk.
_Phulouri:_  Small, deep-fried balls made of a highly seasoned mixture of ground split peas and flour, served with spicy chutney.
_Roti:_  A hefty flour wrap (often filled with ground split peas) filled with your choice of curried vegetables and/or meat.  Sada roti is a slightly stiffer, greaseless variation, commonly served with choka, vegetables sauteed Indian-style.
_Shark-and-bake:_  Richly seasoned shark fillets stuffed into a fried leavened bread (bake) and dressed with a variety of condiments, including pepper, garlic and chadon beni (cilantro) sauces.

Pg. 114:  LOCAL FARE (Tobago--ed.)
_Benne balls:_  A delightful, if somewhat jaw-breaking, confection made of sesame seeds.
_Blue food:_  Also known as dasheen.  One of the hearty root vegetables (or ground provisions, as we say down here) popular in local cuisine.  It has a bluish tinge, and is usually eaten boiled.  Other common ground provisions include cassava, eddoes, yam and tannia.
_Coconut bake:_  A type of bread made with grated coconut, often eaten at breakfast with buljol or cheese.
_Crab 'n' dumpling:_  A filling, savoury dish in which the crab is stewed with curry and coconut milk and served over flat flour dumplings.
_Oildown:_  Breadfruit is the main ingredient here, combined with salted meat and boiled down in coconut milk.  Called "rundown" in Jamaica.
_Pacro water:_  An aphrodisiac made by boiling a local crustacean.  An acquired taste.
_Pigeon peas:_  No relation to the bird.  Pigeon peas-and-rice is a popular Christmas and New Year's dish, said to bring good luck and bounty.  In season around year-end, they're available frozen, and canned throughout the year.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list