What foods and drinks should students on a budget try when in Trinbago?(click to tweet) As a culturally rich country, T&T has an abundance of flavourful foods and drinks at economical prices for student visitors! Below I have categorized some of my top food and drink recommendations; prices range from ~$1US to $15US. Enjoy!
An Indo-Trinidadian snack food that consists of fried dough, which is made of flour, split peas, saffron, turmeric, and other indo-spices. It is best enjoyed when accompanied with some spicy mango chutney sauce. Where to find it: Debe (Trinidad) is the best place to go, but it also can be found in any nearby curry-shop, or even around the Queen’s Park Savannah.
A delectable medley of sliced cobs of corn, carrots, special local seasonings, and cassava or flour dumplings! Where to find it: Maracas Bay Look-Out (Trinidad), on evenings at the Queen’s Park Savannah (Trinidad), and Store Bay (Tobago).
Curry Crab and Dumplin’
Succulent crabs cooked in Indo-Trinbagonian styled curry and served with cassava or flour dumplings. While a bit tedious to eat (since you have to crack open the crab), it is quite a satisfying dish! Where to find it: The Breakfast Shed (Trinidad), and Store Bay (Tobago).
A mouth-watering combination of local tamarind pulp(bitter by itself), brown and white sugar, and sometimes pepper. Though very sweet, this local snack is quite addictive and is loved by locals and foreigners alike. Where to find it: Food Stands at Port of Spain lookout, Maracas Bay lookout, and any place that sells preservatives.
Slices of juicy pineapple marinated in chadon beni, salt, pepper (optional), garlic, and lime. The taste can be described as sweet and salty, depending on how ripe the pineapple is. Where to find it: The same places or vendors that sell tamarind balls and other popular preservatives.
A saccharine delight made of guava pulp, water, sugar, and sometimes lime or lemon juice. Where to find it: UpMarket (Trinidad), Peppercorns, and certain local groceries. *Sometimes hard to find.
Usually made by blending milk, ice, fruit, and sugar, this sweet drink is out of this world! Flavours to sample include: Seamoss, Barbadine, and Soursop (all locally grown). Where to find it: Tragarete Road in Woodbrook, parlours in Blanchisseuse (some of the better ones I’ve had), or on evenings in The Queen’s Park Savannah.
Popular around Christmas, this drink is made with the red flowers of the Roselle plant (locally called Sorrel), which are combined with water, cinnamon, whole cloves, and brown sugar. Where to find it: restaurants and drink shops in December when it’s in season (normally made by households).
Best served straight from a chilled coconut, this drink is most enjoyable on a sunny day to quench your thirst. Where to get it: For Fresh Coconuts – Vendors around the Queen’s Park Savannah or at Maracas Bay (bonus: vendors cut-open the coconuts so you can eat the jelly). For Bottled Coconut water: any supermarket.
Ponche De Crème
A popular rich concoction made during the Christmas season. Ponche De Crème consists of eggs, lime zest, condensed milk, evaporated milk, rum, bitters, and nutmeg. Where to get it: Like Sorrel, it is usually made by families, but can be sourced at restaurants.
Interested in finding our more about Trinbagonian and Caribbean cuisine?
Tamara of Gem’s Living shares wonderful recipes that allow you to get a closer look at island food. Also, the TriniChow blog provides excellent reviews of local eateries’ cuisine.