Trini Christmas, 101: How to Make Pastelles, Black Cake + Chow Chow

Words and Photos by Tishanna Williams— trinidad-pastelles

Trini culture expert Tishanna Williams brings us the second in our series spotlighting unique cultural traditions surrounding the Christmas season in Trinidad & Tobago. Read the first installment, “How to Make Punch De Creme,” here, and the second, “Parang Season:When Trinidad Goes Spanish,” here.

Cooking is a big deal during the holidays in Trinidad & Tobago. So much work goes into it that often entire families come together for the preparation and split the resulting fare. It’s not surprising to even see your neighbor put their entire stove out in the yard for the occasion. An authentic twin isles Christmas is nothing without some signature dishes and sauces. Although they vary by area, three must haves are Pastelles, Black Cake and Chow Chow. Read on for the recipes, try them out, and surprise guests for the holidays with a little Trini flavor.

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