Doubles (1936 origin?, 1951); Trinidad Rum Cake

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Nov 25 00:05:24 UTC 2003

   Greetings from Trinidad.  I leave for New York tomorrow (Tuesday).
   RETRENCHED:  A cover story in today's newspaper says that BWIA has "retrenched" its maintenance staff.  Hopefully, my plane will go down, and people on 59-cents-a minute internet will save a precious three cents.
   NATIONAL LIBRARY:  It's in a new building here and looks impressive (, but I didn't go.  It was closed Sunday, and Tuesday is a national holiday.  I tried to visit it today, but it was closed because of a bomb scare!  The cookbooks I missed out on are TRINIDAD "WIN THE WAR" COOKBOOK (1940--the oldest here?), GUYANESE FOOD RECIPES (1970), and WHAT'S COOKING IN GUYANA (1973).
   From Page Stephens:

Just please believe me when I tell you that the recipes which you have put
up have no more relationship to reality than a snake has hips.

Page Stephens

   Yes, I'm here only about TWO DAYS and can't cover everything perfectly.  But I've read every Trinidad cookbook that I could, and every dialect book that are could, and every tourist item, and what have you.  Some of them surely tell the truth...Dialect stuff in next post.


   Ali's Doubles (at the bus station) kindly gave me a calendar with this on it:

Ali's Doubles
Princes Town &
Now at City Gate

      _The Original Doubles_
   It was in the year 1936 when two families of Princes Town joined in marriage and made One Big Family, the Alis and Eman-ul-Dean one family was good at making channa and the other was very good at making bara, so they put their talents together and they made Channa and Bara.
   The name "Doubles" came about in 1951 with two brothers, Asgar Ali and Ashraf Choat Ali.  While selling channa and bara at the Naparima College they sold one bara with some channa until one day some of the students began to say "Double it up" with another bara and hence the name Doubles was born.
   Because of that establishment in the year 1936 at Princes Town, Doubles is now available throughout the country as it was handed down from one generation to the other, by those two Ali brothers and brother-in-law who were the first to invent Doubles in Trinidad and Tobago.


  Sold at Kiss Baking Company, opposite the bus station.   There are 26,400 Google hits for "rum cake," but only 11 for "Trinidad rum cake."  Whatever.  It had better be good for Thanksgiving.  From the package:

   Trinidad & Tobago...
   The most southerly islands of the West Indies, situated just off the coast of Venezuela, is well known for its creative, zesty inventions.  Our unique gifts to the world, including Carnival, steelpan, calypso, soca, and tasso drums, embody our island's status as one of the most culturally diverse nations on earth.
   To these famous exports, Kiss Baking Company has added a cultural culinary delight--Trinidad Rum Cake--a luscious cake made the traditional way, with lots of fine fruits steeped in the finest Trinidad rums and baked to perfection.  So now you can take the fine taste of Trinidad anywhere in the world with Trinidad Rum Cake, from Kiss.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list