Are you as excited as I was?! Today we got to go to the local farmers market and see what Trinidad has to offer. Favorite thing to do when I arrive to a new place… check!
Let’s start with the usual items you’d expect to see at any open air market.
Local vegetables and fruit galore! This was my first time seeing a yellow watermelon. I was jumping on the opportunity to try it, but was informed by the others that it tastes exactly like the red one (enter disappointed face here).
Studies show that local raw honey contains pollen that is specific to your area and therefore can really help seasonal allergies. Here in Trinidad, it’s the only option as it’s illegal to import honey to the island. I love that they left the comb in some of the jars!
Kombucha tea seems to be making a world wide tour since I first heard of it back in the states. I love to be reintroduced to it as a “brand new wonder drink”. Yes please, I’ll take 2.
Today, Ryan went with a loaded Arepa. Spilling over two pieces of fried bread are hunks of pork, beef, cheese, black beans and a homemade sauce. To me, it sounded like a stomach ache waiting to happen. To him, it was breakfast. For the sake of trying all things new, I geared up for a bite (you can tell how thrilled I was). A mini nibble was all I needed to stand up and keep looking around!
On my scavenge around, I ran into a popular dish that was put on my “must try list” by a local friend (thank you Lisa!). Curried crab and dumpling is a soup of whole crab marinating in a coconut curry broth. I asked for their smallest cup but was quickly informed that the only option was a family bowl, no… more like bucket size. When debating on my order, he offered me a sample (if you know me well, I rarely turn down a bite) so I put my hands together in a “thank you”stance.
This is when he just stared at me. What seemed to be a solid minute of awkward giggling (by him, not me) he then opened my hands and said “here”. Ohhhh, I get it!
I decided against the crab and kept enjoying the variety that was before me. Here’s a dose of some other options.
This one stopped me for a moment in curiosity. Is it three separate things, fish, tea OR soup? Nope, it was definitely “fish tea soup”. This I had to try! The broth had a perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy with solid pieces of pumpkin, potato and white fish. Warning to future visitors, several dishes down here include the bone, so I highly suggest that you don’t chomp away like it’s your grandmas noodle soup!
Sweet tooth? To my minimal experience so far, most of Trinidad has one! They fill this desire with a variety of sugar based treats ranging from Indian delights to homemade candy and ice-cream. I was drawn to this stand from all the color and the small sign that said “Cassava pone”. Pone is not a pudding, not a cake, but somewhere in between. It’s usually made from root vegetables (this one from cassava) but you can also make them with carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin.
I bought it to share and when she handed it to me, it was as if she passed a crumb covered brick. This thing was solid! Not my favorite splurge.
Through the vibration of the cultural music, I could faintly here trickling of water… where was it coming from? Oh my, check out this one of a kind seating! A typical picnic table covered in greens, with a small stream running right through the middle leading to a dainty waterfall.
When I grow up (or at least have an address) I will have one of these to share in good company!
Next step up the stairs of this Trinidadian adventure leads us on a quick trip to Maracus Beach. If you speak with any Trini or previous visitor, they will most likely mention this hot spot. Why is it so special? I’ve been told 2 main reasons. First of all, it’s one of the few waterfronts protected by a deep bay creating a prime lounging area. Secondly, it’s known for the popular dish called “shark and bake” or “bake and shark” (depends who you’re talking with). This is a world famous sandwich that consists of two pieces of soft fried bread with a portion of shark as the meat. You then line up at what resembles a salad bar and top it off with whatever sauces, veggies and extras that you prefer. From garlic spreads to pepper sauces, coleslaw to fresh lettuce. Here’s a few shots from the drive to this trendy north coastal region.
A pit stop to check out the tourist section of our day. Here you can take a break and purchase some typical treats and souvenirs. A well known goodie along these parts is called chow. Chow is almost ripened fruit soaked in lime, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Although you can find it in a variety of flavors, you’ll often see mango, plum or pineapple. We made it to Maracas Beach!
Chastine had made the comment that it “always rains on this beach”. After proving her wrong with the bright blue sky, within minutes (no exaggeration) nature giggled back with this…
Can you believe it’s only afternoon? Whew! I’m so grateful for Ryan with his photo skills and willingness to share… our friends with their high energy (you all are the best guides!) and this stunning country that has given me new material to stimulate the senses. Much more to come!