The Trinidad & Tobago Creole Box
Tobago Crab & Callaloo Recipe by HomeMade Zagat. Recipe card included in this month's box.
FOOD & CULTURE
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 snacks 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 vibrant in 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!
Read our prior blog post for the inspiration for this month's theme!
Malika & Jamila
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
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.
A staple in any Trinbagonian Caribbean kitchen. It is a marinade for poultry, meat and seafood, made from a blend of herbs and spices which include shadon beni (culantro), pimento peppers (a type of seasoning pepper), chive, ginger, garlic and thyme. These flavors are the foundation of Trinbagonian cooking, giving it that unique and distinctive taste. Marinate meat for 24 hours prior to cooking for enhanced flavor.
Arguably one of the most important seasonings in Trinbagonian cooking. The pimento pepper is a seasoning pepper which means it's full of flavor but without the heat. An excellent substitute when you cannot get fresh peppers, this sauce can be used in green seasoning, stews, soups, beans, pelau, cook-ups & more!
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.
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.
Used in creole dishes for extra flavor.
Sugar Cake: Made with shredded coconut and sugar that is molded and baked.
Tamarind Balls: The pulp from the tamarind fruit combined with sugar and rolled into balls.
Fudge: made from condensed milk, evaporated milk (or coconut milk), sugar and butter.