February 2021 - The Afro-Trinbago Box


The Afro-Trinbago Box

In this box we celebrate our African heritage and its lasting impact on our food and culture. 


From dishes like callaloo, pelau, coo coo, breadfruit oil down, stewed peas, soups, buljol, salt fish and provision to hearty finger foods like accra, souse, corn soup, boiled & roasted corn, fried & roasted bakes to sweet treats like sweet bread, tamarind balls, sugar cake, toolum, paw paw (papaya) balls and chip chip, our African heritage is a vibrant and major part of our food landscape.

Trinidad & Tobago is the home of the steel pan, calypso and limbo and this month we celebrate our African ancestral roots that created the Greatest Show on Earth – Trinidad & Tobago Carnival!  


We pay homage to the resilience, fortitude and courage of our African ancestors who in the face of unspeakable adversity were able to hold on to their culture and improvise and adapt in the face of suppression, birthing new art forms in the process. 


We say thank you to the drummers. When drumming was outlawed, thank you for improvising and finding ways to continue with your rhythmic and musical expressions through tamboo (tambu) bamboo, iron and other means. Through this perseverance and courage the steel pan was born. We honor the voices of the early griots and chantuelles and the oral traditions that gave us kaiso, calypso and soca. We remember the canboulay. We celebrate the traditions of mud, oil and the art form that is mas. We honor the elders who have so fiercely guarded and passed on this rich and unique culture.


And so today we are thankful that we know the feeling of our pores raising from the sound of a riddim section or steel band. Today we have a music of our own. Today we have a festival that is our own – Carnival, an awe-inspiring showcase of so many art forms that are our very own.


And so this month we say thank you and we celebrate!

Malika & Jamila

XOXO

What's In The Box?

Browning


Introduced by our African ancestors, it is burnt sugar that has been caramelized. This is the foundation for stewing (or “browning”) any type of meat. The meat is added to the caramelized sugar which gives it its brown color and rich gravy. Timing is everything when “browning” the sugar so keep your eye on the pot and do not step away. If the sugar is not caramelized fully, the result will be a sweet tasting dish. If the sugar burns too much, you end up with a bitter taste. Practice makes perfect! Bottled browning may be used instead if you haven’t yet mastered your timing.

Green Seasoning


A staple in any Trinbagonian home, used as a condiment for any dish. This particular pepper sauce is made with sun-ripened and hand-selected peppers. Using fresh ingredients and no artificial flavors. Sample the best of Trinbago Pepper Sauce!

Coconut Milk Powder


Coconut milk is a vital ingredient in many quintessential Trinbagonian dishes from our African heritage like callaloo, bread fruit oil down and cook-ups like pelau and okra (ochro) and rice. This coconut milk powder is a great alternative when fresh coconuts are not available to make coconut milk yourself. 

Mauby Bark


Mauby drink is made from mauby bark that has been boiled with spices and seeped for a few hours then diluted and sweetened with sugar. Serve cold...the colder the better!

Corn Meal


Made from dried, ground corn it is the main ingredient in popular Caribbean dishes like cornmeal dumplings, pastelles, fungie and the very popular coo coo in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Antigua & Barbuda. Coo coo is most often eaten with callaloo and stewed fish.

Trinidad Yellow Pepper Sauce


A staple in any Trinbagonian home, used as a condiment for any dish. This particular pepper sauce is made with sun-ripened and hand-selected peppers. Using fresh ingredients and no artificial flavors. Sample the best of Trinbago Pepper Sauce!

Cook Up Seasoning


Our Africans ancestors introduced “one-pot” dishes now referred to as a “cook-up”, the most popular of which is pelau. This cook-up seasoning is a dry blend of herbs, spices, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Pimento Sauce


Pimento is a seasoning pepper. It is flavorful without the heat and is a common ingredient in green seasoning. This pimento sauce is a blend of pimento peppers, shadon beni (culantro), garlic, mustard and vinegar and is a great substitute when fresh pimento peppers aren’t available.

Sweet Treats

Some classic sweet snacks from our African heritage that we enjoyed during our childhood and still enjoy today.

Toolum


A traditional hard, chewy snack. Made of grated coconut and molasses, which gives it its dark brown color. All natural and contains no preservatives. It possesses many vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium. It’s believed that its creation lays in the first sugar plantations in Trinbago.

Tamarind Balls


It’s made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit which is combined with sugar and rolled into balls. The tamarind tree, indigenous to Africa, and also cultivated in Asia for centuries, produces a pod-like fruit, which contain an edible, fleshy, acidulous pulp. Pepper is added for spiciness although it’s just as tasty without.

SPECIAL EDITION RECIPE COLLECTORS CARDS

BY POPULAR CARIBBEAN BLOGGER & FOODIE 

AFRO-CARIBBEAN RECIPE CORNER

Celebrating our African heritage and its lasting impact on our food and culture.


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