As Ramadan draws to a close, Trinidad and Tobago and Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. The overriding thought on many Trinis’ minds today? Which Muslim friend or family member am I eating by tomorrow?
Trinbagonians equate celebration with food. We love to eat. For every occasion, there is a dish to match. What trip to Maracas Beach would be complete without a bake and shark? Or a river lime without curry duck? Unimaginable. Going to Panorama Semis or cricket in the Oval? Pass the pot of pelau.
Trinbagonians take meal times and holiday food favourites seriously. Christmas is not Christmas without ham, turkey, pigeon peas, pastelles, ponche crema and all the local delicacies. I made the mistake of substituting a pork leg for roast turkey one Christmas Day lunch. My family revolted as one and were still complaining on New Year’s Day.
Every May 30th, dozens line up outside roti shops from early o’clock to get their curry fix. Luckily I don’t have to. I’m convinced the world would stop spinning on its axis if my mother didn’t cook curry duck and buss up shut on Indian Arrival Day.
And can you really envision Eid without sawine? Divali – or Currylympics, as it known in my house – is an exercise in binge eating. How much curry can one consume in a day and still have room for left-overs?
I love that as a people Trinbagonians celebrate every holiday as one, irrespective of religion or ethnicity. This is the true beauty of our rainbow nation – the ability to come together and share each other’s heritage.
So stir the sawine, fry the samosas, and grill the lamb kebabs. Eid Mubarak – This hungry Anglican can’t wait to indulge.
What are your special occasion/holiday culinary traditions? Please share in the comments below – yum yum!