Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Whenever you speak to Trinidadians about local cuisine outside of the stereotypical curry and roti, you will quickly learn that the local eats are incredible, diverse and unique. Dhalpuri Roti comes to mind and from researching about it, I do wish there was a place in Edmonton that brought it to the table – pun very much intended.
However, the one dish that many of us from across the Caribbean have at least heard of, if not tried is Doubles. I generally see and hear an enhanced level of excitement when Doubles comes up in a conversation and why wouldn’t you get excited? This dish stands alone in the categories of sandwiches and Caribbean street vendor foods. Doubles is an ode to the multicultural makeup of the Caribbean and it is usually served with a variety of hot condiments to spice up things like the heat of the tropics.
So, what’s in this gem? We are talking about a curried chickpeas (channa) sandwich. The “bread” is deep fried spiced, flatbread known as “Bara”. When you put two Bara together to make the sandwich you get “Doubles” – As in two times the pleasure! What gets my attention about bara is that you add cumin and turmeric to it and those are two ingredients you just can’t go wrong with as, they add colour and a ton of flavor. I can see some you out there saying “curried chickpeas”. In the words of the great Bob Marley...” before you knock, try it first”, granted he was referring to another healthy organic product, but the sentiment holds true. Doubles are something that can be eaten anytime of day and oh did I mention its also a vegan dish, which makes it a great alternative.
Here in Edmonton Trinidadian cuisine is not easy to find however there are a few places that do serve “Trini” inspired menu options. Café Caribe comes to mind and Safron’s Caribbean Delight does offer Doubles on select days. Also Pot Full of Flava recently opened on 156th Street and carries a few items on the menu.
Hopefully one day someone will step up to the plate and launch a full-on Trinidad dining experience and open our eyes to diversity this Southern Caribbean giant has to offer. My knife and fork are ready to dig in.
If you are interested in the challenge of cooking up some savoury Trini food, the famous Multi-Cultural Cuisine Trinidad and Tobago, Napirima Girls School cookbook will provide you with an abundance of choices. You can find it on Amazon - CLICK HERE TO FIND A COPY