The world of Caribbean food is one that is rich with a variety of cultural influences. Caribbean food recipes are often taken from a mixture of African, East Indian, Arab, European, Amerindian, and Chinese influences to create the unique blend of Caribbean food. Ingredients including cassava, rice, plantains, beans, and coconut, as well as fish, beef, or poultry, among many others are commonly found in Caribbean food recipes.
If you’re headed to any of the Caribbean islands — be it Belize, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Jamaica — you’ll not only enjoy the warm sun and beautiful beaches, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the world of Caribbean food.
Trinidad, the larger of the two islands of Trinidad and Tobago, is another excellent place to discover the richness and flavors of Caribbean food. This Caribbean island is teeming with influences from Chinese, West African, and Indian cooking in all of its dishes.
Bake and shark is an iconic Trini street food dish that can be found across both Trinidad and Tobago. The dish is a fried flatbread filled with fried pieces of shark meat and other ingredients, like lettuce, tomato, or pineapple, along with different sauces.
Doubles, a sandwich made with fried flatbread, fried chickpeas, and finished with tamarind, mango, and a bit of pepper, is yet another must-try street food dish that is classically Trini.
Also popular in Trinidad is callaloo, which can be served with served with plantain, cassava, and sweet potatoes.
Curried crab and dumpling is another must-try island dish that is loved by many locals. To celebrate the holidays, pastelles — known as hallacas in Venezuela —are often eaten at Christmas. Pastelles in Trinidad are often filled with raisins, capers, and meat, then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed.