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Trinidad and Tobago cuisine is the cuisine of the Caribbean island state of Trinidad and Tobago. It reflects a fusion of African (mainly West African), Creole, Indian-South Asian, Chinese, Amerindian, Arab, European, and Latin American-Spanish-Portuguese cuisines.

Main meals

Breakfast dishes

Doubles

Popular breakfast foods include doubles; roti (usually sada roti[1]) served with a variety of curried, roasted or fried vegetable dishes; fried bake served with saltfish, meat, or vegetable dishes; and coconut bake (coconut bread) served with a range of fillings.

Doubles is made with two baras (flat fried dough) and curried channa (chickpeas) and is served with toppings like pepper sauce, kuchela, and tamarind, mango, pommecythere, cucumber, and bandhaniya chutneys. It is one of the most popular breakfast foods eaten on the islands, however, it is eaten at any time throughout the day.

A traditional Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian breakfast consist of sada roti is a type of unleavened bread made with flour, baking powder and water. The dough is rolled out and cooked on flat, cast-iron, called a tawa. The cooked dough is cut into quarters and served with a variety of tarkaris or chokhas[2] such as baigan chokha (roasted and mashed eggplant), damadol (tomatoes) chokha,[3] (roasted and mashed tomatoes), aloo chokha (boiled, roasted, and mashed potatoes), karaili chokha (roasted and mashed bittermelon), fried or curried bodi (long beans), fried or curried aloo (potatoes), fried or curried ochro/bhindhi (okra), fried or curried seim (hyacinth beans), fried or curried karaili (bittermelon), pumpkin or kohra tarkari (pumpkin simmered with spices and seasoning), fried or curried saijan (drumstick), fried or curried lauki (bottle gourd), bhagi (made with young dasheen bush (taro) leaves, spinach (palak) leaves, saijan (drumstick) leaves, water spinach leaves, chorai (spiny amaranth) leaves, or poi (malabar) leaves), and/or fried plantains.

Fried bake (a fried unleavened bread) is usually served with fried shark, saltfish (dried and salted cod), buljol (saltfish with fresh sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and sometimes boiled eggs), sardine, smoke herring (smoked, salted, and dried fish), bacon, fried plantain, stew chicken, or corned beef with onions and tomatoes.

Coconut bake (coconut bread) is usually served with fried accra (saltfish fritters), buljol, black pudding, butter, cheese paste (a mixture of cheese, butter, mustard, grated onion, mayonnaise and green seasoning) or stewed meat like chicken.

Bake and shark is a popular breakfast dish at local beaches like Maracas Beach (Trinidad) and Store Bay (Tobago), especially on the weekend.

Other breakfast foods include tannia cakes (fried dasheen cake), and boiled cassava with butter.

Common hot drinks consumed for breakfast include cocoa tea (hot chocolate) made from homemade cocoa balls, cornmeal porridge and farine (an amerindian treat).

Lunch and dinner

Callaloo

A very popular and nationally well known dish with distinctly African roots is callaloo, a side dish made of young dasheen or taro leaves, okra known locally as ochro, crab or pigtails, pumpkin, onions, coconut milk, pimento, and green seasoning like chives, cilantro and culantro (locally called chadon beni from the French name for Cnicus thistle "Chardon Bénit" or bandhaniya from the Hindi name for closed cilantro "ban dhaniya").

Callaloo is often served with cornmeal coo coo,[4] plantain, cassava, sweet potatoes, dumplings, rice, and curried crab.

This callaloo dish is not the same as Jamaican callaloo which is made with amaranth leaves, onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Pelau is a very popular rice-based dish in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as stewed chicken, breadfruit oil down, macaroni pie, ox-tails, dhal and rice, among many others.

Trinidad and Tobago dishes are often curried, stewed, or barbecued. An array of fish and seafood can be bought at local merchants throughout Trinidad and Tobago, such as flying fish, king fish, carite, prawns, sapatay, red fish, shrimp, bonito, lobster, conch and crab, tilapia and seasonal cascadura.

One of the most popular Trinidadian dishes is curried duck served with either roti or rice. Local curried duck cooking competitions are often held with multiple variations being created. A simple dish to make, but difficult to master, curried Muscovy is regarded as a delicacy which can be served at all times.

A popular Trini dish is macaroni pie, a macaroni pasta bake, with eggs and cheese, and a variety of other potential ingredients that can change according to the recipe being used.

Tobagonian food is dominated by a wide selection of seafood dishes, most notably, curried crab and dumplings, and Tobago is also known for its sumptuously prepared provisions, soups and stews, also known as blue food across the country. "Fish broth" a soup made in the style of Bouillabaisse is quite popular as a main dish or as a side.

Another local dish is the rare delicacy cascadu (cascadura), which is a small, freshwater fish. The fish is curried and served with lagoon rice and cassava and yams. There is a local legend in Trinidad that s/he who eats cascadu will return to Trinidad to end their days.[5]

Also a special type of West Indian spaghetti dish is made in the towns of Chaguanas, Couva and some parts of San Fernando. It is made by using durum semolina, scorpion peppers, pasta sauce and a hint of garlic sauce. Everything is sauteed in a sauce pan until all the fluid dries. It is then served with salt dashed on top with some rosemary and parsley.

Condiments

Green seasoning in a supermarket

Trinidadians accompany their meals with various condiments; these can include pepper sauces, chutneys and pickles and are often homemade.

Pepper sauces are made by using scotch bonnet or other hot peppers, either minced or chopped and other spices. It can sometimes include lime or lemon as well as other vegetables, and come in many variations and flavours. The murtanie (mother-in-law) is another popular condiment which is a coarsely chopped spicy medley of scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, karaili (bitter

Popular breakfast foods include doubles; roti (usually sada roti[1]) served with a variety of curried, roasted or fried vegetable dishes; fried bake served with saltfish, meat, or vegetable dishes; and coconut bake (coconut bread) served with a range of fillings.

Doubles is made with two baras (flat fried dough) and curried channa (chickpeas) and is served with toppings like pepper sauce, kuchela, and tamarind, mango, pommecythere, cucumber, and bandhaniya chutneys. It is one of the most popular breakfast foods eaten on the islands, however, it is eaten at any time throughout the day.

A traditional Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian breakfast consist of sada roti is a type of unleavened bread made with flour, baking powder and water. The dough is rolled out and cooked on flat, cast-iron, called a tawa. The cooked dough is cut into quarters and served with a variety of tarkaris or chokhas[2] such as baigan chokha (roasted and mashed eggplant), damadol (tomatoes) chokha,[3] (roasted and mashed tomatoes), aloo chokha (boiled, roasted, and mashed potatoes), karaili chokha (roasted and mashed bittermelon), fried or curried bodi (long beans), fried or curried aloo (potatoes), fried or curried ochro/bhindhi (okra), fried or curried seim (hyacinth beans), fried or curried karaili (bittermelon), pumpkin or kohra tarkari (pumpkin simmered with spices and seasoning), fried or curried saijan (drumstick), fried or curried lauki (bottle gourd), bhagi (made with young dasheen bush (taro) leaves, spinach (palak) leaves, saijan (drumstick) leaves, water spinach leaves, chorai (spiny amaranth) leaves, or Doubles is made with two baras (flat fried dough) and curried channa (chickpeas) and is served with toppings like pepper sauce, kuchela, and tamarind, mango, pommecythere, cucumber, and bandhaniya chutneys. It is one of the most popular breakfast foods eaten on the islands, however, it is eaten at any time throughout the day.

A traditional Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian breakfast consist of sada roti is a type of unleavened bread made with flour, baking powder and water. The dough is rolled out and cooked on flat, cast-iron, called a tawa. The cooked dough is cut into quarters and served with a variety of tarkaris or chokhas[2] such as baigan chokha (roasted and mashed eggplant), damadol (tomatoes) chokha,[3] (roasted and mashed tomatoes), aloo chokha (boiled, roasted, and mashed potatoes), karaili chokha (roasted and mashed bittermelon), fried or curried bodi (long beans), fried or curried aloo (potatoes), fried or curried ochro/bhindhi (okra), fried or curried seim (hyacinth beans), fried or curried karaili (bittermelon), pumpkin or kohra tarkari (pumpkin simmered with spices and seasoning), fried or curried saijan (drumstick), fried or curried lauki (bottle gourd), bhagi (made with young dasheen bush (taro) leaves, spinach (palak) leaves, saijan (drumstick) leaves, water spinach leaves, chorai (spiny amaranth) leaves, or poi (malabar) leaves), and/or fried plantains.

Fried bake (a fried unleavened bread) is usually served with fried shark, saltfish (dried and salted cod), buljol (saltfish with fresh sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and sometimes boiled eggs), sardine, smoke herring (smoked, salted, and dried fish), bacon, fried plantain, stew chicken, or corned beef with onions and tomatoes.

Coconut bake (coconut bread) is usually served with fried accra (saltfish fritters), buljol, black pudding, butter, cheese paste (a mixture of cheese, butter, mustard, grated onion, mayonnaise and green seasoning) or stewed meat like chicken.

Bake and shark is a popular breakfast dish at local beaches like Maracas Beach (Trinidad) and Store Bay (Tobago), especially on the weekend.

Other breakfast foods include tannia cakes (fried dasheen cake), and boiled cassava with butter.

Common hot drinks consumed for breakfast include cocoa tea (hot chocolate) made from homemade cocoa balls, cornmeal porridge and farine (an amerindian treat).

A very popular and nationally well known dish with distinctly African roots is callaloo, a side dish made of young dasheen or taro leaves, okra known locally as ochro, crab or pigtails, pumpkin, onions, coconut milk, pimento, and green seasoning like chives, cilantro and culantro (locally called chadon beni from the French name for Cnicus thistle "Chardon Bénit" or bandhaniya from the Hindi name for closed cilantro "ban dhaniya").

Callaloo is often served with cornmeal coo coo,[4] plantain, cassava, sweet potatoes, dumplings, rice, and curried crab.

This callaloo dish is not the same as Jamaican callaloo which is made with amaranth leaves, onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Pelau is a very popular rice-based dish in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as stewed chicken, breadfruit oil down, macaroni pie, ox-tails, Callaloo is often served with cornmeal coo coo,[4] plantain, cassava, sweet potatoes, dumplings, rice, and curried crab.

This callaloo dish is not the same as Jamaican callaloo which is made with amaranth leaves, onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Pelau is a very popular rice-based dish in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as stewed chicken, breadfruit oil down, macaroni pie, ox-tails, dhal and rice, among many others.

Trinidad and Tobago dishes are often curried, stewed, or barbecued. An array of fish and seafood can be bought at local merchants throughout Trinidad and Tobago, such as flying fish, king fish, carite, prawns, sapatay, red fish, shrimp, bonito, lobster, conch and crab, tilapia and seasonal cascadura.

One of the most popular Trinidadian dishes is curried duck served with either roti or rice. Local curried duck cooking competitions are often held with multiple variations being created. A simple dish to make, but difficult to master, curried Muscovy is regarded as a delicacy which can be served at all times.

A popular Trini dish is macaroni pie, a macaroni pasta bake, with eggs and cheese, and a variety of other potential ingredients that can change according to the recipe being used.

Tobagonian food is dominated by a wide selection of seafood dishes, most notably, curried crab and dumplings, and Tobago is also known for its sumptuously prepared provisions, soups and stews, also known as blue food across the country. "Fish broth" a soup made in the style of Bouillabaisse is quite popular as a main dish or as a side.

Another local dish is the rare delicacy cascadu (cascadura), which is a small, freshwater fish. The fish is curried and served with lagoon rice and cassava and yams. There is a local legend in Trinidad that s/he who eats cascadu will return to Trinidad to end their days.[5]

Also a special type of West Indian spaghetti dish is made in the towns of Chaguanas, Couva and some parts of San Fernando. It is made by using durum semolina, scorpion peppers, pasta sauce and a hint of garlic sauce. Everything is sauteed in a sauce pan until all the fluid dries. It is then served with salt dashed on top with some rosemary and parsley.

Trinidadians accompany their meals with various condiments; these can include pepper sauces, chutneys and pickles and are often homemade.

Pepper sauces are made by using scotch bonnet or other hot peppers, either minced or chopped and other spices. It can sometimes include lime or lemon as well as other vegetables, and come in many variations and flavours. The murtanie (mother-in-law) is another popular condiment which is a coarsely chopped spicy medley of scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, karaili (bitter melon) and other spices.

Chutneys are popular as well and often include mango, tamarind, cucumber, pommecythère, bandhaniya, dhaniya, tomato, and coconut. They are most commonly eaten with doubles, aloo pie

Pepper sauces are made by using scotch bonnet or other hot peppers, either minced or chopped and other spices. It can sometimes include lime or lemon as well as other vegetables, and come in many variations and flavours. The murtanie (mother-in-law) is another popular condiment which is a coarsely chopped spicy medley of scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, karaili (bitter melon) and other spices.

Chutneys are popular as well and often include mango, tamarind, cucumber, pommecythère, bandhaniya, dhaniya, tomato, and coconut. They are most commonly eaten with doubles, aloo pie, saheena, baiganee, kachori, and pholourie. There are a variety of popular pickles known locally as Achar which are commonly used. Kuchela a grated spicy version, usually made from mango but sometimes made from pommecythère, the Mango version being most popular. Other version of Achars are made from mango, pommecythère, tamarind, amla, lemon, lime, and chulta.

Green seasoning is extremely popular, a cold sauce based on culantro or chadon beni, pureed with green onions, garlic, pimento, vinegar, and other herbs, which can be used as a table condiment or marinade.

Popular freshly prepared street foods include: