Thursday 11th August, 0900. We are booked on the “Taste of Trini” bus trip with the famous Jesse James. The tour started right outside the gates of the marina with Jesse hopping off to get us Fry Bake, Saltfish and Smoked Herring… that was certainly a rude awakening for most of the drowsy cruisers – you have to remember the average age of the 10 guests is well over 55…ahem…perhaps a bit older, but we are 5 hours behind the UK so I think that counts in some strange way.
Jesse roars off in his van. As we leave the confines of the two lane, potholed road that connects Chaguaramas to the suburbs of Port of Spain the road widens and turns into a 4 lane freeway. Suddenly the traffic lights ahead change to flashing red, this is the signal for Jesse to put down his phone for a moment, put on his seat belt and accelerate “to beat the red”. You have to get in to the spirit of driving in the islands!…
The day progresses, and Jesse stops at a variety of roadside stalls, huts, cafes, street vendors … all the time trying to surprise and delight his captive audience.
I counted 32 stops during the day and and even greater number of Trinidadian delicacies. Some were fantastic like “Doubles” – a roti filled with curried chickpeas. Some were not too bad…like “Cow Heel Soup” – take a soup and float some gristle in it. Some were a challenge – BBQ’d pigtails. Yet others were absolutely revolting – “Chickens Feet” – served in a cup neatly manicured. Only one of the party managed to get these anywhere near his mouth – he was an old rugby player so that explains it. Jesse informs us that he will take the feet home, apparently this will impress his wife.
Here is the list of what we ate between 9am and 7pm.