Fall 2022,  Interview

Chef Arthur Patrick’s bake and saltfish, a typical Trinbagonian Breakfast

Chef Arthur Patrick – bake and saltfish, a typical Trinbagonian Breakfast

What about this dish makes it a standard Trinbagonian breakfast?

What makes bake and saltfish a typical Trinbagonian Breakfast is the types of ingredients that are used, the bold flavors, the sweet aroma, and the versatility of the dish.

Trinidad and Tobago are a melting pot of cultures, that have all positively added to the foods that we eat today. In colonial times saltfish or buljol as we call it was considered a poor man’s food, but nowadays it is used as a breakfast ingredient, being eaten with Coconut bake or fried bake. Fried bake, which originated in Trinidad and Tobago is a flour mixture, that when fried, puffs up and is light and airy. Together they make for a wonderful breakfast option locally.

Is this a dish one can find in any part of Trinidad and Tobago, or is it particular to a specific region of the country?

Bake and saltfish is a staple in Trinidad and Tobago’s breakfast culture, which means it can be found in every corner of our beautiful twin islands.

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be okay to have this dish for lunch, but I’m curious – can it also be eaten for lunch?

Bake and saltfish can also be eaten for lunch and dinner. Saltfish is a favorite because of its versatility in many dishes that we eat locally. Saltfish can be curried, it can be used in buljol, it can be used in accra, and it is a perfect accompaniment to be eaten with ground provisions. So because of the versatility of saltfish, fry bake and saltfish is an easy choices for lunch.

What are some of your favorite Trinidadian and Tobagonian breakfast foods?

Some of my favorite Trinbagonian breakfast foods are Doubles – a Trinbagonian dish made with two baras (flat fried dough) and curried channa (chickpeas) and is served with toppings, like pepper sauce, tamarind, mango, cucumber, and chutneys. Sada roti with pumpkin choka or baigan (eggplant) choka, Aloo (potato) pie, and Coconut bake and cheese.

Have you noticed any new trends in Trinidadian and Tobagonian food culture?

Yes, I have. During the covid Period, because hardly any travel was taking place a lot of the foodstuff that we use to import became scarce. In light of this, I noticed the emergence of local produce (ground provisions, vegetables, etc) being used to make flour, pasta, and different food items to compensate for the items that were no longer being imported.

If so how do you feel about those new trends?

I love these new trends because they show how versatile our local produce can be. As Trinbagonians

and Caribbean people alike we should understand that our local goods are in no way inferior to the store-bought imported brands. Also, a lot of these local alternatives being used tend to be a lot healthier than

the store-bought options.

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