Another batch of snacks from Trinidad and Tobago, again from local Caribbean groceries around Ottawa.
Caribbean Cool Sorrel Drink – I love hibiscus (aka sorrel / jamaica / roselle / bissap and a dozen more names). I thought this was just going to be a straight hibiscus juice, but it smells like Christmas spices! It’s sweet and has a really nice nutmeg / mace spice on top of the hibiscus. Turns out sorrel drinks across the Caribbean usually include spices like nutmeg, allspice, anise, cinnamon, or orange peel – and are often drunk around Christmas. It’s really tasty.
KC Candy Dinner Mints – These are your basic hard after-dinner mint, the kind that comes with the bill at restaurants, but they have a bit bigger cultural cachet – they’re the standard candy that’s often handed back instead of small change in corner stores in Trinidad, so they’re always on hand. They’re also good for flirting – their labels have romantic little messages on them – “I love you”, “Love will find a way”, “You are my everything”, etc.
Holiday Cheeze Stiks – I love cheezies in all their variations. These are kinda crunchy and with a different tasting coating – more like real cheese, almost aged cheddar and a mild gouda? Same bright orange dust all over my fingers, though!
Solo Banana – Solo is the pop brand in Trinidad, and there are a LOT of flavours – the Caribbean grocery store I went to had banana and cream soda on hand, so I went for the flavour that’s less common in Canada. There’s a connection between Canada and Trinidad through this pop – Solo’s branding came from buying the assets of a bankrupt Montreal beverage company during WWII, including shipping already-labelled bottles to Trinidad to use in production. As for the pop itself, it’s bright orange and smells like banana candy. It’s very sweet (almost too sweet), it does taste a bit like bubblegum or cream soda, with some artificial banana on top. It’s kinda similar to the Salvadorean Kolashanpan pop I tried a while back.