News

The Caribbean’s Street Food Capital

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 21, 2015

Above: a corn soup stand at Queen’s Park Savannah

By Alexander Britell

PORT OF SPAIN — On the streets of this city, everywhere you look is an artist. And he’s usually called a doubles man.

Every day he makes doubles, the famous fried flatbread sandwich with curried chickpeas, mango, tamarind, and whatever else you dare top it with, just so long as it’s impossibly spicy.

It’s a matter of contention as to who’s the best, often the subject of heated dispute.

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You understand why the minute you try them. And try is the operative word — simply managing to take a bite, negotiating the ever-moving sauces and oils, is an acquired skill.

doubles

Above: Doubles

Because doubles are part of the urban landscape in Trinidad’s capital, the way all street food is here. And Port of Spain is the Caribbean’s capital of street food.

The smells and the spices and the flavours are always swirling around. It’s a city almost defined by them.

sauce

This is a remarkably diverse place, even a region like the Caribbean; there are tastes from both hemispheres, from Africa, from India, from Europe, from the neighbouring islands.

And the food, the food you find on the street, is the only way to experience that.

trin

Above: Port of Spain

Sure, it begins with doubles, but after a few bites then you’re on to the roti and then the pholourie and then the corn soup. Then you stop for a bit, because the corn soup is the hottest soup in the world.

street

But then you try the bakes and the geera chicken and then the pies.

And it goes on and on and then it’s time to go to St James, Port of Spain’s city that never sleeps, where you’ll do all of this again.

Because here in Trinidad, street food isn’t just a religion, it isn’t just a foundation of daily life: it’s an art form, and everywhere you go there’s a new installation, a new portrait, a master working right along the sidewalk.

It isn’t just a major reason to come here — it’s the most important one.

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