Food plays a very important role in Trinidad & Tobago’s culture. So, it’s no wonder that Trinidadian’s take great pride in their cuisine. The multiple ethnic communities of Trinidad and Tobago all have a direct influence on the dishes of Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the culinary influences of Trinidad & Tobago include Creole cooking, Indian, Syrian, Chinese and Portuguese cuisine. The true Trinidadian cuisine blends the delights from around the world to create truly distinctive flavors that can be experienced in the various dishes such as pelau, macaroni pie, stew chicken and callaloo.
Food in Trinidad is an international affair. Trinidad’s Cuisine beings with the Trini version of India, which includes the islands’ blend of curries and spices in doubles and roti. Then on to China for dim sum or some locally created flavor. Experience the Middle East for the gyros and kabobs, or on to Europe for Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
The basic ingredients for any good Trinidadian recipe are the spices. This includes most of the spices that you can find on the island: garlic, onion, thyme, curry, coco as well as the most popular ingredient: pepper.
The various influences and cultures help to give Trinidadian cuisine its unique character. For example, paella from Spain is an influence for the Creole pelau. Bacalao, which is typically a Portuguese plate is re-invented as buljol. Even Chinese chicken is cooked in stew with added Creole touches.
Restaurants range from traditional outdoor food stands on the beach serving “bake and shark” to family-style restaurants and fine dining restaurants.