Trinidad and Tobago
Cailan Baxter 2A
Trinbagonians also celebrate a variety of religious public holidays. Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day that commemorates the abolition of a British law forbidding participation in the African-influenced Spiritual Baptist religion. Christian holidays include Carnival, Good Friday, Easter, Corpus Christi, and Christmas. Carnival is celebrated the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and is the biggest cultural event of the year among all segments of the population, no matter their religion. The festivities attract many tourists and are characterized by elaborate costumes and calypso, soca, and steelpan drum shows. On Christmas Day, Christians attend church and Catholics go to Midnight Mass. Among Christians and non-Christians alike, gifts are exchanged and families and friends share meals that feature ham, pastelles which is corn and meat steamed in a banana leaf, and black cake which is cake made from fruit soaked in brandy.
- Bake and Buljol - A local dish featuring a flat bread-like bun which is the bake that is made of flour and fried in oil, then eaten with salted codfish which is the Buljol that has been shredded and seasoned with pepper, onions, tomatoes and cooked in oil.
- Dhalpurie Roti - This dish features a hefty flour wrap that is filled with peas and a choice of curried vegetables or meat.
- Corn Soup - A split-pea soup with corn and dumplings.
- Jerk Chicken - chicken that is soked and marinated in spices and herbs then cooked in the oven.
- Fruit Cake - A cake made from fruits, including raisins and currants, mostly around Christmas and at weddings.
Herbes and Spices
Like many Caribbean cuisines, Trinidadian food draws on a rich mix of cultural influences -- from African and Asian flavors, to Latin American and European techniques. Seasonings include bold spices, fruity rubs, fresh herb dressings and a burst of heat. Trinidadian flavors are probably best represented by the popular "green seasoning," a paste used in so much authentic Trinidadian cooking.