One of the secret treasures of the Caribbean is the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. These two islands are a lovely melting pot of Indian and Caribbean-African cultures, with influences from Creole and America found everywhere, even in the food. The foods here are typically spicy and packed with flavor, using a variety of spices that most people never even experience in their lifetime.
The people of Trinidad will tell you that if you only eat one thing while you are here, it must be doubles. Foodies will take a vacation to this country just to try the doubles. Every Trini has their favorite spot to buy this street food from, and it is a dish that is really only found on these islands. It’s made from a slightly sweet, soft bread, filled with split peas in a sweet tamarind chutney sake, and topped with shredded cucumbers and some pepper sauce. It’s one of the most popular breakfast foods in the country.
- Bake and Shark
Sharks are plentiful on this area of the world and it’s legal to catch and eat them here, so they are a common delicacy. The most popular way to have them in Trinidad is on soft, fried bread, as a sandwich, usually with some garlic or chadon beni (culantro), pineapples, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce.
You can find gyros in most areas of the world, and the strong Syrian influence in Trinidad makes this a common street food. The most popular gyro spot in the country is at the Queen’s Park Savannah in the nation’s capital, where a Bad Habit Gyro is sold. This is a combination of three meats and is topped with cheese and sauces to make a habit-forming gyro that’s worth the artery-clogging effects. You’re going to want to take some time off to recover after this one, perhaps hiring a local cleaning service to take care of household chores for you so you can vegetate after the effects of this stuffed gyro.
- Crab and Dumplings
You’ll have to go to the island of Tobago to find the authentic crab and dumplings dish, which is typically served in green curry and is mildly spicy. This popular dish is sold at most of Tobago’s beaches, and it may come with the whole crab for you to pry open yourself.
This snack food is often served in conjunction with other street foods and is made from small balls of dough that are deep fried and spiced, then served with a chutney sauce. The chutney can be made from pineapple, mango, tamarind or other fruits, and is usually sweet and spicy.
Trinidad is a place known for its food, and the street vendors are everywhere, so it’s not hard to find local foods served fresh. The problem is finding the best version of some of these foods, and just about every Trini will be willing to give you their opinion on where to find the best of each of these. Even if you have to travel for a ways to reach the recommended street vendors, the taste experience is definitely worth it.