12 Unique Foods you are sure to come across during Trinidad's carnival Season.

Although these unique foods are popular in many other tropical countries, some are particularly found around the Carnival/Lenten Season in Trinidad & Tobago. Tourists should definitely not leave the islands without sampling these unique foods, they are sure to encounter during their visit.

Trinidad and Tobago

1. Pomme cythere

Known by many other names from locals across the Caribbean and Asia, such as, Ambarella, Kedondong, buah long long, June plum, Mangotín, Juplon, Golden apple, Golden plum, Jobo indio, Cajá-manga, Cajarana, Quả cóc, Manzana de oro, Cas mango. This popular fruit is best enjoyed half-ripe, green with salt or in a tasty Chow (brine with peppers and herbs), that is so tasty one will risk poking their gums out sucking on the spiky seed of this fruit.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - caribfruits.cirad.fr
 Denis Ndong

We also call it "Loukhouré" in Soussou (Guinea-Konakry national language) or "Ningkong" in Malenké (another Guinean language). I'm very glad because this fruit reminds me of my childhood.

on 1/10/15

2. Pomerac

Wax jambu, Java Apple, Wax Apple, Water Apple. Pomerac has a distinctive sweet taste and smell when in season. A bit tart like most fruits if picked young, but definitely a childhood favourite of many Trinis. Eat straight from the tree or in a typical Trini Chow.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - Therese Yarde on Flickr
 LauWe

We call them "Malaka" in the French Caribbean Island of Guadeloupe! Succulent!

on 30/9/15

3. Caimite

Apra, Damsel, Estrella, Goudblad boom, Jamoon, Kaimit, Pied caimite, Pomme surette, Star apple, Star plum.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - carljh.wordpress.com

4. Sapodilla

Also known as Manilkara zapota or Chico Fruit. This Fruit is so sweet that it was even put in a popular 90s Trini soca song, called "2 Sapodillas and a 9 inch Banana". It is from the Evergreen Tree unique to Souther Mexico, Central America and other parts of the Caribbean. You do not need a knife to eat a Sapodilla. When ripe it perfumes the air with its distinct smell and can be easily ripped open with ones fingers to reveal the sweet, succulent flesh inside.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - www.rainforest-alliance.org

5. Barbadine

Other names are Giant Granadilla, Barbadine, Giant Tumbo, Badea. Not just a treat for children but is also very much enjoyed by adults. One can always find a juice vendor at the side of the road selling this ripened fruit blended to perfection with ice and condensed milk, which is the way it is enjoyed in every household as the fruit itself does not have much taste, but comes to life when something sweet is added to it.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - www.barbadine.com

6. Christophine/Christophene

Other names are Cho-cho, Chayote squash, Pear squash, Vegetable pear, Pataste, Su Su, Pinpinola. A staple in many Trinidadian households, this fruit is prepared Trinidad in a vegetable stir fry, salad or simply steamed with other vegetables, or added to soups. It has a crisp, fresh clean taste similar to a cucumber and is also quite popular in Latin American cuisine.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - eiferpiku.blogspot.com

7. Topi Tambu

Other common names are Calathea allouia, Leren, Guinea Arrowroot. A tuber with an addictive, but distinct starchy taste that is enjoyed simply boiled in salted water, around the Carnival/Lent season in Trinidad and Tobago. No need to peel, the skins are easily removed after cooking. This makes for a really quick and easy snack any time of the day.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - www.bloomsimports.com

8. Pewa

Also known as Pejibaye, Peach Palm. The vibrant red orange and yellow colours of Pewa, can be seen in the market or at the side of the road at the back of vendors’ vans. It is predominantly enjoyed in salted water, where the colour of the skins becomes duller. The whole fruit (fibrous orange flesh and seed) can be enjoyed when cooked. Beware if your teeth are not that strong to crack the seed though, which has the faintest coconut-like flavour.

Costa Rica
Credit - amsin.wordpress.com

9. Chataigne

Also known as Breadnut. In Trinidad and Tobago, Chataigne (seeds from the breadnut tree) are harvested to be enjoyed boiled in salted water or curried. The boiled version makes a delicious snack and makes the woody outer coating of the seed easy to peel and the flesh of the nut tender but firm. When curried, it makes for the perfect filler as meat substitution particularly for vegetarians or those fasting.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - www.futura-sciences.com

10. Chenette

Other common names are Limoncillo, Spanish lime, Genip, Canepa, Mammon, Skinip, Mamoncillo. This sweet, fleshy fruit is a childhood favourite in Trinidad and Tobago. Simply break through the semi-hard shell with your teeth or fingernails to get to the fruit. For a slightly more savoury version chenette is also eaten in the infamous Trini chow.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - Sheena Aziz on Pinterest

11. Dasheen

Commonly known as Taro Root across Latin America. Dasheen is another popular tuber commonly found and enjoyed in most Trinibagonian homes around Lunch or Dinner-time. It belongs to a collection of other tubers that can be found at meal time, known as ‘Provision’ which is a staple in Trinibagonian cuisine and can be found on any local menu. Dasheen can be prepared simply by washing away the muddy exterior and peeling the skin off and putting the flesh into boiling salted water. The colour when cooked changes slightly to a greyish-purple hue. The leaves of this tuber also makes a popular trini dish known as callaloo.

Dominica
Credit - www.dominicavibes.dm

12. Seamoss

Also known as Irish Moss. Good thing that Trinidad & Tobago is surrounded by water, as it makes this unique find easy to across. You will most likely come across it in a sweet milky drink served by many of the juice street vendors found on the island. A sure 'pick me up' during the carnival season because of it numerous health benefits. This super-food has been reported to contain high levels of Potassium and iodine which the body needs to maintain energy required to function. Consumption of Seamoss has also been thought to improve many digestive ailments. can easily be prepared by rinsing thoroughly and soaking overnight in Lime water. Afterward, rinse then boil in a bit of water till it turns into a jelly-like consistency, Blend then allow to cool. It will turn into a semisolid on cooling. This can be added as a thickener to many recipes or blended with condensed milk, cinnamon or other spices or fruit to be enjoyed as a delicious smoothie.

Trinidad and Tobago
Credit - www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com
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