Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

Crab from Venezuela, eh where meh blue


A crab rack just shy of the Diego Martin highway, Trinidad

The vendor that operates this crab stall says that their crab is imported from Venezuela. A lady walked in and asked, “Does Venezuela crab taste differently blue*. The man as he busily cleaned a batch, smiled. Tobago is known for its curry crab and dumpling. Coconut milk is a necessary ingredient in the dish. Also there is no etiquette when eating crab, it can be very messy. The meat needs to be masticated completed to get at its flavour out. The claw is the prized part, Crab and dumpling is considered a delicacy.

*Blue refers the local river crabs. Crabs are purged and fed old vegetables to flush out any impurities they may have eaten. Sometimes they just escape from the barrel you kept them in.


This dish was so wonderful, that it lingered in my mind for two days

Architectural beauty at Patraj Roti Shop


Copyright © 2009 Richard Bolai

Patraj Roti Shop at Tragarete Road, Woodbrook, Trinidad, West Indies

This is the shell of the once popular Patraj Roti Shop which in 2008 was destroyed by fire. The archway led you a row of tables and just left of it there was the casher and a queue of people who would wait forty five minutes to be served. In some way it is a reminder that you can’t hold on to things, and that experiences are to be enjoyed in the present no matter its circumstances. Everyting, slight, wet and plenty chicken

Slight – The degree of pepper to be added to the roti
Wet – The amount of curry to be added to the wrap

Guinness – Sexual Impotence

An incomplete figurative painted billboard advertising the stout beverage, Guinness, Port of Spain, Trinidad

For many men in Trinidad and Tobago, this is a remedy which the washed-out graffiti explains (Sexual Impotence) for those who may lack the sexual prowess. A couple of Guinness may do the trick to make your wood stand and to double-break in the process.
Wood – Penis
Break – Ejaculation

Meh wife like meh sweet water

Listen nah I marry twice

The portrait of this older gentle-cold-nuts-man brings a feeling of homesickness to Trinidadians who live elsewhere in the world. He is situated around the Queens Park Savannah, Port of Spain and sells his cold nuts from a decrepit van which believably moves.

At the time, a coconut was being cut-open for its jelly. Mr. Saga boy was sweet talking his lady client about the natural healing benefits of his particular water, in its grade of sweetness which his wife could not handle too much fresh water in her system. More foretelling was the way his hacked at the shell with brutal cutlass force.

In certain cultures, the coconut tree is considered as the tree of life because very part of the palm can be used.

Grade of water
Young Coconuts – Sweet, no jelly
Older nuts – Tart, moist jelly

Solo – Vision of the future

The birth of Solo

The Solo softdrink has its beginning in St. James, Trinidad, West Indies and the glass bottle is derived from the Bell X1 flown by the American Charles Yeager in 1947. He was the first man to exceed the speed of sound.

The serving tray above is a promotional memorabilia from Joseph Charles Bottling Works which took great pride with its product. Fat boy as it is known is still available in Trinidad in small shops in rural areas. Other classic softdrinks were, Jucy and Canning

Cakes of all Occasions

On this painted sign for the Daily Bread Bakery, it says; For the best, Hops.Bread.Cakes.Pastries.Bakes. Pizzas.Pies and then ends with For All Occasions. What does that mean?

The artists has rendered three delicious three delicious culinary desserts which are a sugar coated donut, a sliced loaf of bread and a large cake that seemed to be baked from a Jell-O mold. There is something usually how ungainly the cake sits.

A Bakery sign of the Eastern Main Road,Trinidad, W.I

Rosella – Jamaican Sorrel

May I have five pounds of your Hibiscus sabdariffa….Eh meh what?

It is a beverage drink that is ingrained in Trinidad and Tobago at Christmas time. Tanti would have some chilling in her icebox. It is a family of the hibiscus scrub and the edible part of the calyx is used to make the drink.

The floral leafs are boiled and seeped, The syrup is then flavored with ginger and sugar. Sorrel is an ideal drink to served during the holidays, it has the benefit of lowering high blood pressure when dealing with family gatherings.

Above: Sorrel sold at the central market, Trinidad West Indies