tabanca - "the forlorn feeling that one gets, when a love affair is over".....Cote ce, Cote la



We Kitchen

"A hungry man, is ah angry man"..... a Trini saying

The Spanish, French and English colonists and African slaves left an indelible mark on our cuisine, which was later spiced by the East Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and other Oriental indentured immigrants. The resultant cosmopolitan nature of our islands has tweaked our taste buds to a level, which is reflected in our food-fare. The variety of foods to be had on the islands is comparable to any major city in the world in terms of taste and presentation. The high percentage of inter-racial marriages has also had an effect on the home cuisine. Of note is the fact that ethnic foods are no longer restricted to its indigenous roots. Curries are common fare in any Trinidadian household; as are peas and rice, chow mien, sancoche, paella and potato salad, to name a few.
It is said that the way to a man's heart is FOOD…. and the Trini women really try to prove it!
There is a proliferation of websites with recipes indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago and you will find links below that take you to some of the best. The recipes we have put on our site are family proven and have been handed down to us by our parents. We invite you to prove them yourself…Bon Appetit!


When me prayers were poorly said,
Who tucked me in me widdle bed,
And spanked me till me ass was red?
Me Mudder

Who took me from me cozy cot
And put me on me ice-cold pot,
And made me pee pee if I could not?
Me Mudder

And when the morning light would come,
And in me crib me dribble some,
Who wipe me tiny widdle bum?
Me Mudder

Who would me hair so gently part,
And hug me gently to her heart,
And sometimes squeeze me till me fart?
Me Mudder

Who looked at me with eyebrows knit,
And nearly had a king size fit,
When in my Sunday pants me shit?
Me Mudder

When at night the bed did squeak,
Me raised me head to have a peek,
Who yelled at me to go to sleep?
Me Fadder


Ponche Crema

Ponche Crema is an egg-nog like drink and Venezuela's National Liquer. It is very rich and delicious and a favourite during the Xmas season.


4 eggs
1 can condensed milk
200ml Rum
1 tsp Angostura Bitters or to taste
1/4 tsp.Ground Nutmeg
Lime zest



Beat eggs well with lime zest. Add half of rum and condensed milk. Add rest of rum,ground nutmeg and Angostura. Strain to remove zest and pour into bottles. Refrigerate and serve cold, shaken over cracked or shaved ice.

Tip: A 750 ml bottle of rum + 4 cans condensed milk + 16 eggs + 4 tsp Angostura yields approx. 5 Lts. Ponche Crema.


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Trinidadian Black Cake

To a Trini, Christmas without black cake is likened to Carnival without colour...... and my mother-in-law's black cake is 'de best.' This recipe is a family heirloom and she agreed to divulge it only if, 'it is followed to a tee.' Also she added, 'use a wooden spoon!' It is with pride I highlight "AMIES' SPECIAL BLACK CAKE" recipe.........











1 lb. Seedless Dark Raisins
1 lb. Golden Sultana Seedless Raisins
1 lb. Currants
1 lb seedless Prunes
2 ozs.Mix Peel
2 ozs. Citron Peel
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Bott. (26 ozs.) Rum (amber coloured)
1 Bott. (26 ozs) Sweet Madeira or Port Wine or Cherry Brandy

Burnt Sugar

2 cups Brown Cane sugar; 2 tsp. shortening; Rum.





1lb. Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 cups Flour (All Purpose)
10 large eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 cup of Burnt Sugar (or add to your desired colour) Soaked Fruit from above recipe (LESS 1 & 1/2 cups)

*Some people like nuts in their cake and you may add if desired. Just remember some people are allergic to nuts.

Tips on preparing Trinidadian Black Cake

First of all here are a few tips on Trinidadian Black Cake:-

-Making Black Cake is a labour of love.
-You cannot skimp on the ingredients.
-The fruits to be used, should be put to soak in advance in RUM....The longer the better.
-The fruits should be chopped and not blended. Blending results in a doughy/ pasty consistency to the cake.
-Add spices (cinnamon) to the soaking fruits instead of the cake mixture.
-It is better to use Burnt Cane Sugar as the darkening agent, instead of the commercial browning. It gives the cake a better flavour.
-For your cake, use butter with salt (not Salted Cooking Butter) If you use Salted Cooking Butter, it should be first washed with water to remove some of the salt.
-Remember to use a double thickness of wax paper to line pans for baking, as this will prevent the bottoms of the cake from becoming burnt.
-Remember to lower the oven temperature after the first 1 & 1/2 hrs. of baking.


Preparation of Fruits

Wash and dry Raisins, Currants and Prunes. Grind or chop fruits together. Put fruit to soak in wine and rum, reserving 1/4 bott. of each for 'topping off' as the fruits, over time, absorbs the liquid. Fruits should be put to soak about two-three months before baking date.
 For this recipe you use all of the soaked fruits, LESS 1 & 1/2 cups. The amount reserved can be used for a surprise cake during the coming year!

 How to prepare Burnt Sugar

Melt shortening in heavy pot. Add sugar and stir. Keep stirring until sugar turns a thick, gooey liquid and black in colour. Remove from heat and add RUM slowly while stirring to get a consistency of honey. Cool,Bottle and store. This should produce enough for at least 2 Christmas bakings and for adding to stews or for recipies requiring a browning agent. It can also be used to colour white rums, where a dark rum is called for. Just remember, add a little at a time....


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, while continuing creaming. Add fruits,vanilla and burnt sugar. Add baking powder to flour and fold in slowly to batter. Pour mixture into double lined, greased pans. (The best pans to use are pans about 3inches in depth, and if used , the mixture would produce three cakes- a 10inch, 8inch, and 6inch) Preheat oven, and bake at 300F for first 1 1/2 hrs, then lower heat to 250F until done.


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Ingredients - Makes Four 9"x13" loaves

3lbs Flour
1 1/2 tbsp. yeast
3tsps. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 medium size coconut (grated)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3tsp. vanilla essence
1 cup raisins
4 ozs. shortening
2 cups water


Put yeast to prove in 1/2 cup of warm water and 1tsp. sugar. After yeast has proven, melt shortening, then mix all ingredients
except raisins, which you add last of all. Knead dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Leave to rise to double its size, then
LIGHTLY roll to form loaves and put into very well greased pans. Bake at 350F.

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20-25 pc mussels
1 c squid, sliced (or 5 pc medium squid)
2 pc crabs
1/2 c medium-size shrimps
1/2 kg chicken breast, leg, gizzard, and liver
3 tbsp chorizo fat
2 tbsp oil
1/4 kg pork cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 c ham cut into 1-inch squares
1 pc chorizo de bilbao, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped fine
1 c tomato sauce
3 1/2 c chicken broth
2 c rice, washed
1 pc red pepper, in strips
10 pc string beans
1 tsp soy sauce or patis
2 tsp salt
2 tsp monosodium glutamate(optional)
1/4 c sweet peas
2 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 c parsley


Steam mussles. Set aside 1 cup broth. Remove ink of squid. Slice and boil. Set aside. Boil crabs and shrimps together; set
aside. Boil bony parts of chicken; set broth aside. Heat fat and oil in skillet. Fry chicken, pork, ham, and chorizo. Cook until
half-done. Remove from skillet. Saute garlic, onion, and tomato sauce. Add chicken broth and rice. Mix well. When rice is
half-done, add red pepper, string beans, mussles, squid, and other meats. Season with soy sauce, salt, and MSG. Cover tightly
and cook without stirring until broth is absorbed. During last 5 minutes of cooking, put shrimps, crabs, and peas on top.
Garnish with sliced eggs, strips of pepper, and parsley.

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