Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Trini Tuesday-It's Here!

Thanks to all who rode along for the summer memories of the bike trip. It was fun for me to reminisce and I am glad at least a few of you enjoyed it. I have had a couple ideas for Trini Tuesdays percolating in my head but they all required a bit of work. I was wondering what I was going to post about today while I was grocery shopping and there on the shelf before me it lept out and screamed at me. See it? Right there! Those bottles are from Trinidad. The ones full of orange stuff are a kind of hot sauce. More specifically they are Matouk Brand sauce. that's straight from Trinidad folks. Now I will tell you I was always a bigger fan of Chief Brand but Matouk is the real deal and it is on my local grocery stores shelves. Next to it is green seasoning. I don't recognize the brand name but green seasoning is a distinctly Trinidadian thing and the map on the label is of Trinidad itself. Folks, Trinidad has arrived in my corner of Pennsylvania! Let us pause for a moment while Lime does a happy wine (that's a very pelvic sort of dance Trinis do) and gets on bad! Woohoo! Now for a few years we have had a specifically Caribbean market that is owned and run by Trinis and I have appreciated that and will continue to patronize them. That these condiments are on a big store's shelves though is pretty exciting to me.



We came back to the US in 1993. I have been back to the island to visit maybe 6 times and I have had friends from there visit me about 4 times. Now let me tell you, when you go to visit Trinidad, all your friends there call and say, 'Oh gosh gyul yuh could bring meh a few items in yuh bag? I would pay fuh dem on yuh arrival.' And if you are a friend at all, you pack your belongings in one bag and carry a whole separate bag full of the items on the shopping list from your friends. I have carried all manner of shoes, clothes, school supplies, baby items, electronics, and almost anything else you can imagine in my bags when I have gone back to Trinidad because I can get it cheaper here than they can get it there. Do I mind? Not at all because....

This leaves me an empty bag that I can now fill up in Trinidad with the stuff I either can't find here or I can find cheaper there. On my returns to the US I have lugged big iron pots in my bag. I've also loaded up on yards and yards of batik fabric and local arts & crafts. I've bought 4 pair of handmade sandals in one shot because if one pair wears out I want to have a next pair as backup before I get back there. And foods... I tellin yuh, I have carried back a grocery store in my bag. Hot sauce, green seasoning, guava jams, homemade pepper sauce, chutneys, freshly made roti skins (from aunty, fuh de chirren), Milo, oh and cocoa powder....oh gosh, I feelin' fuh it now! Now over the years I have found little sources here and there for some of these things. I will no longer have to carefully pack a one or two years' supply of glass bottled condiments in my luggage so I can season my food. I still can't find the cocoa I like here but that comes in a tin so now I just have more room for that in my bags.

I am very excited about all of this. One thing I have never carried back in my bags nor do I intend to buy in the store even though I see it is now available is the item below.


See what they are? Can you make out the label? Can you tell what's inside the package? Did you guess chicken feet? Good for you. Your prize is a nice plate of stewed chicken feet for dinner! Yes, people really eat them and yes I have too. It was quite interesting to watch them being prepared and realize that was going to be dinner. It's not the worst thing I've ever had to eat. I'd chose it over liver any day of the week. But I will not be spending money on them or ever having an intense craving for Pied du Poulet. It's just a nice indication of the Trini Arrival in my corner of the world though.

Tune in next week for the tale of Dave and the Fish Heads. Hhhmmm, sounds like a good name for a rock band...

25 comments:

MONA said...

You get everything in bottles & in India we have a variety of condiments to choose from.
I buy very few as such, except the basics and I prepare my own masalas.They are my own specialty secrets and some are passed down from granmas too!

Those are chicken legs...I have heard that they are edible, but can't imagine eating them myself!!

MONA said...

oops! chicken feet!

Bsoholic said...

I wonder what the "green sauce" is made of, and what you'd put it on, and most importantly does it taste good?

Also, post 9-11 have you had problems with some of the items you'd bring to them and/or bring back?

Anyways, yay for a taste of Trini in your corner! :D

lime said...

mona, i now those fmaily secrets are to be guarded tightly

bs, less than a year after 9/11 i had no problem at all. i even came back with a jar full of formaldehyde and gigantic bugs. as for the green seasoning...it is generally a mix of celery, thyme, chives nad a local thing called chadon beni. it is used to season any and all meat, poultry and fish before cooking it in any fashion.

lime said...

more on the green sauce....it imparts a somewhat neutral flavor to the meats. trinis hate the smell of raw meat and this along with washing the meat in lemon juice and water takes that smell out. you don't use green seasoning like a relish, just a s a base season prior to cooking.

Hypersonic said...

Man! All these foods. Chicken feet are also a delicacy (!!??) up in northeastern Brazil, along with guava jam, hot-pepper sauce ( of which I make a wicked version: take an empty soy sauce bottle fill it with whole malageta peppers, put in a clove of garlic, ,half fill it with virgin olive oil, then fill it up with cacha├ža...sugar cane rum...then leave for a couple o months in a cool darkish place...BLOWS YER FRICKIN' BRAINS!!!!). Now I feel hungry

Logophile said...

EEEEOW
No chicken feet, please

S said...

Ack! Lime, do chicken feet taste like chicken?

I cannot eat stuff that still looks like the animal it came from...no, not even a chicken leg...

It must be first made to look like a thinly sliced deli meat and packaged in plastic before Im touching it.

Thanks for the epicurean tour!

tsduff said...

Ewwwwwwwwwwww chicken feet. bleah!!!

The rest sounds lovely - just put together a batch of my own family's chutney - YUM. I think I would enjoy the foods and condiments of Trinidad emmensely! Thanks for a great and yummy post (except for the giant bugs and poultry feet) :)

jillie said...

OMG...that just does not even look remotely appetizing. I suppose if I were starving after a month I may want to devour one of them. Well, ok, maybe not even then....ewwwwww!!!! But some of that other stuff sounds good. I guess I can't complain we always had blood n' tongue and head cheese in the house. WHICH I refused on all attempts to try. Ain't even gonna go there ;o)

cindra said...

Oh, lordy! I was getting so hungry as I read along (and wishing for some nice arts and crafts too!) and then came the flippin' chicken feet. Ew. I'm not hungry anymore.

Thanks for sharing, sistuh!

lime said...

hypersonic, your sauce sounds like some killer good stuff

logo, where's your sense of adventure?

s, they taste like whatever you cook them in, only rubbery

tsduff, chutney is goooood

jillie, i'd eat chicken feet again before i'd eat head cheese

cindra, so ya still wanna come over for dinner?

Crabby said...

I'm still stuck on chicken feet. My brain refuses to budge away from them. Are the toenails still on? ICK ICK ICK!

I'm gonna have nightmares. I just know it.

TLP said...

Well, I've seen chicken feet in stores in the south when I was a kid, but I had completely forgotten about them. Ugh.

Good post. Now I'm hungry. Again. But not for chicken feet.

Boysenberry said...

Only had chicken feet once, and not stewed. These were done Szechuan style - more crispy than rubbery. Not something I'll rush back to eating... they rank right up there with stir fried jellyfish.

Moosekahl said...

I think I would have to pass on the chicken feet too! But now that it's pumpkin season I plan on making a pot of stewed pumpkin with the recipe you gave me :)

Top cat said...

that is so cool you found them in your grocery store.
chicken feet NOT!!
tc

Gawpo said...

I will never EVER forget when my father brought home a bag full of chicken feet. We were very poor. He was in law school. These feet were a gift from a friend who worked in a processing plant. They were free to us. My father took out a propane torch and singed the skin. The smell of burning skin scales stays with me. We made a soup. We ate them.

lime said...

crabby, yes you see toenails, but they get cut off before you eat them

tlp, i hear ya, sister

boysenberry, stir fried jellyfish? urp...i'll pass

moose, mmmm, stewed pumpkin..yummy....

top cat, it was a surprise to say the least

gawpo, oh my that is a very poignant memory.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

My God that's gross.

Seamus said...

YAAAYYYYY on the sauces

... but ....

NIX on the chicken feet!

G-Man said...

My Father-in-law was Polish, they have a dish that they serve with hard boiled eggs and chicken feet called cocinina(?)...
Love food posts..
Love Trini..xoxox

Cosima said...

You don't like chicken feet? How come... lol.

Cantonese love them as well. It's all about the texture and the fun while nibbling, you know :).

RennyBA said...

Great post - lucky you and of course I'm glad you can have a taste from homeland! And from my earlier post, you know you can get it in Oslo, Norway too :-)

Btw: You know I love to eat it, so I'm looking forward to your Fish Head Post!

Cooper said...

I'm going to whaaarrrffff all over my keyboard...