Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Maracas Drive Food

Have we taken street food to another level? It seems that the world is just beginning to discover Trinidadian food. I say this because for a long, long time, most Caribbean food was lumped under one banner. Trinidad's cuisine is different to any other island. In fact, each island is entirely unique. Certainly there may be general culinary adages such as rice and peas but for the most part, each island has very different cuisine.On the way to Maracas beach, the street vendors have taken street snacks to a new level. Pineapple and mango chow with heavy doses of chadon beni, fudge and salt prunes are just some of a few of the things that you can snack on while driving along the winding coastal road.
For all of us who grew up in the seventies, our school yard diet was a steady stream of red mango ( bright red pickled mango that had a chinese origin) and salt prunes which we would store in the pockets of our convent skirts and suck surreptitiously through the sticky, humid after lunch periods. We also lived for sno cones, aloo pies and tamarind balls.
Dixie biscuits and crix have always been in our lives. I don't know who the first baker was who miraculously stumbled upon the first crix recipe. I hope it was a Eureka moment. Little did he know the role that this little biscuit would play on the national stage.

My daughter has only just learned the joy of chow. Mango chow, cucumber chow, pineapple chow. If it grows on a tree, chances are that it can only be improved with a little lime, salt, garlic, chadon beni and pepper. I still love the bite and peel delicacies that appear throughout the year. Topi Tambo (or Tippi Tambo if you are from South) with its crunchy water chestnut/potato texture, Chataigne, the delicious bread nut, Peewah with its bright orange skin and nutty kernel are just some of my favorite things. I am never happier than when I am reading on the couch on a Saturday afternoon with a big bowl of anything that I can peel and eat.
A true farine and avacodo kind of girl.