Decision time has come once again, this time between the cuisines of Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia. We got to experience Trinidadian cooking and its Caribbean ingredients prepared according to west African and Indian methods. We made our own version of Trinidadian callaloo, a creamy dish of greens simmered with okra and coconut milk with obvious African roots that was somehow rich, decadent, and healthy at the same time. It’s best not to question good fortune sometimes.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago love their hot peppers. Most Trinis are descended from either west African or Indian immigrants, and their ancestors’ spicy native cuisines have evolved into the modern Trini diet. The chili of choice is the Scotch bonnet (nearly identical to the habañero familiar to American readers), and it gets used in everything. Even callaloo (recipe follows), a dish of slow-cooked greens in coconut milk, gets the Scotch bonnet treatment.