Trinidad food (1961, 1964, 1967)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Sep 8 09:03:15 UTC 2003

   Some notes
   The Library of Congress has some newspaper volumes of the PORT OF SPAIN
GAZETTE (from 1825), the TRINIDAD CHRONICLE (from 1864), and the TRINIDAD
GUARDIAN (from 1917).  If I have time to go there.

by Morton Klass, Barnard College, Columbia University
Prospect Heights, Illinois:  Waveland Press, Inc.
1988 reissue

   Not surprisingly, this book was available at Columbia.
   There's a good bibliography, but only two books figure to give me an
earlier "roti," and I don't know what libraries have them:

Comins, D. W. D.
1893  Note on Emigration from India to Trinidad (plus Diary and Appendices),
Calcutta, Bengal Secretariat Press.  In Notes on Indian Immigration,
1878-1893, pp. 205-384.

Morton, S. E.
1916  John Morton of Trinidad.  Toronto, Westminster Co.

by Robin Bryans
London: Faber and Faber Limited

Pg. 201 (Carnival):  Mountains of green coconuts had appeared and long lines
of booths had been built supplying every kind of Trinidadian sweetmeat and
snack--roti and dal puri, fish floats and accra, hot dogs and hamburgers, hot and
cold coo-coo made from sliced occhroes, tree-oysters and crab-backs, mashed
tum-tum plantains and corncobs, all to be washed down with unlimited quantities
of Cokes and Solos, lagers and rums.

by Sheila Solomon Klass
Garden City, NY:  Doubleday & Co.

Pg. 51:  "Breakfast" was what normal people ate at midday.

Pg. 54:  "Oh, she can make _roti_ (pancake breads) and _talkari_ (vegetable
curry) fine," Doon said impatiently, "but _we_ cook with salt."

Pg. 92:  Ramlal's mother and grandmother worked at serving the very festive
dinner: rice and dal, curried goat meat, pumpkin squash curry, roti (holiday
variety called dal _puree_ because of the thin layers of dal interlarded in the
dough) sliced eggplant dipped in dal and flour and fried in ghee, and soft
drinks mixed with evaporated milk.

Pg. 95:  It was conch, a variety of huge snail that Arcadians consider a
great delicacy.  Mrs. Kumar had prepared it in a thick, rich, curry sauce.  She
set the dish down and we helped ourselves.  One bite was all I needed to know
that I would never forget this Christmas.  Conk has the flavor, the appearance,
and the texture of diced automobile tire.  (...)
   "First time you have conk, in _my_ house," he said happily.  "First time
you ever have conk.  You must remember that."

Pg. 104:  From the kitchen, a thatched shed behind the ajoupa, she fetched an
enormous brown paper bag full of sizzling _channa_, crisp and spicy.  Channa
is not a food one usually finds on an American maternity diet.  It is made by
soaking chick-peas overnight, then frying them until they are brittle and
sprinkling them with salt and red pepper until they're very hot.  East Indians
chew channa as light refreshment, equivalent to the way we eat popcorn or

Pg. 120:  During the wedding season, which lasts from March through July, we
attended two or three weddings each Sunday, and slept--or rather, lay
awake--Saturday nights while "mikes" (hired sound trucks) parked on the road, played
popular Indian music to liven up the all night "cookings."  At these cookings,
enormous quantities of food were prepared for the hundreds of wedding guests

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