Part 2 of my big haul from Caribbean Export Co – part 1 is here, and there’s another part coming!

Sunshine Snacks Chee Zees – These are really nice crispy cheezies, lots of flavour and crunch, but what I can’t get over is that they taste IDENTICAL to Hawkins, a Canada-only brand of cheezies. I mean, that’s good, I love them, but with all the variation in cheezies around the world, it’s really surreal to have two brands from different countries that look and taste identical, with no connection between the two.

Charles Tiki Gold Coconut Craze – The last Tiki Gold I tried was plain chocolate, but there’s a bunch of other flavours – this one is coconut. It’s layers of wafers covered in chocolate, with a subtle coconut flavour. Coconut in sweets is usually low on my preference list, but I actually like this more than the plain chocolate Tiki Gold – you get enough coconut taste to give it some complexity without being overpowering.

Devon Chocolate Digestive – A nice big digestive biscuit covered in milk chocolate. That’s it. Plain and simple, and honestly, great. I’d definitely stock up on these if they were available locally, this just satisfies something in my brain.

Charles Ping Pong – Chocolate covered peanuts, but with a really generous soft milk chocolate coating instead of a hard chocolate shell. Dangerously addictive.


Source: Pexels

Black Power in the Caribbean Series: Trinidad and Tobago 1970 – BLAM UK has a great series of Black history podcasts, all about 10 minutes long. This particular episode focuses on Trinidad’s Black Power Revolution in 1970, a pivotal civil rights movement. This podcast also touches how racism at Canadian universities and resistance by West Indian students in Montreal (a part of my own country’s history I was sadly ignorant about) directly fed into the civil rights and Black Power movements in Trinidad and Tobago.

This Week in Trini – Short 5-minute podcasts covering the news from Trinidad and Tobago, particularly domestic and national news.

AG Talks: All Things Tobago – This is a really interesting podcast series, featuring Trinidad and Tobago’s Attorney General, Faris Al-Rawi. However, it’s not him being interviewed in a journalistic sense, it’s his own podcast. He focuses on various legal, political, or constitutional subjects, and brings other high profile people to discuss a topic – this one was on the pending legislation to give Tobago increased autonomy, and featured an MP from Tobago, as well as the head of the Tobago Assembly. What makes this podcast remarkable is that it’s definitely very informative about the topic, but it’s also a brilliant piece of political media – Al-Rawi hits his political talking points and advocates his side of the debate, without sounding like a campaign speech. It’s a masterclass for any politician or advocate on how to be relatable and engaging while still putting your agenda forward.

A Day in the Life of Nelly B.: Wendy, Gabby, and the case of the straightened kinks – A look at an incident a few years back where a Trinidadian contestant on “Caribbean’s Next Top Model” was forced to chemically relax her natural hair or be eliminated from the reality show. Nelly B. gives a nuanced look at the incident, as she is someone who has fought for support of natural Black hair, but who also has worked as a model and has a firsthand understanding of the industry and its obligations.

From the Talking Drum to Steel Pans: Drumming in Trinidad and Tobago – Another podcast from BLAM UK, a brief look at the history of drumming in T&T, including times drumming has been banned, and the evolution of the steel pan today and the huge competitions today like Panorama.

And to get a sense of how cool the steel orchestras at Panorama are:


Accra is not exclusively Trinidadian, they’re made all around the Caribbean – they’re seafood fritters, usually with some leavening in the batter to make them fluffy. Salt cod seems the most common meat, but shrimp ones are out there too, and after that, it’s all thousands of thousands of neat variations on the recipe.

However, in some parts of the Caribbean, especially Haiti, Accra is completely different – instead of fish, they’re fried taro fritters. Both are related directly to West African Akara, a fritter made from cowpeas or beans – which also is the origin of the shrimp-based Brazilian Acarajé.

I’m using the Accra recipe from Ramin Gansehram’s Sweet Hands – her green fig curry turned out great, and I had extra salt cod left over to use up.

The recipe takes a bit of work – you need to cook the salt cod with a few changes of water to get it so you can flake it with a fork, and the batter needs about an hour to proof. The recipe called for both hot sauce and green seasoning in the batter, and while I could have made some green seasoning from scratch, I went the easy route and used a bottle imported from Trinidad, along with that great Calypso Scotch Bonnet sauce I’ve been using this month.

The Accra cooked up GREAT. They’re light and fluffy, somewhere between a latke and a pancake in consistency, slightly spicy with a lovely flavour from all the seasoning, pepper, and the green onion and cilantro. They fry up quick and easy, and I used both the green seasoning and the hot sauce as a topping for the fritters.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Trinbagonian Radio

Trinidad and Tobago is so famous for its music, and its live radio does not fail to deliver. As always, Radio Garden was my first stop, but there are also a lot of great channels live on Trinidad Radio Stations. In fact, there are a LOT of great radio stations all over T&T – this is barely scratching the surface.

Caribbean Wave Radio QX93 – This has been one of my favourite stations to listen to this month. It’s a great mix of soca, calypso, reggae, funk, and all other kinds of upbeat Caribbean music. No talking or ads either, it’s just a great vibe. Listen live here.

Talk City 91.1 FM – A really interesting station that’s music, news, and talk – they only play music from T&T and the Caribbean, including some very powerful political folk and calypso when I tuned in. They also have a strong focus on freedom of speech, democratizing radio, and good quality talk radio and journalism. Listen live here.

Dread Radio – An online station in Port of Spain exclusively playing reggae. While reggae is deeply connected to Jamaica, it’s also had a huge influence across the Caribbean, with Trinidad producing plenty of homegrown artists. Listen live here.

The Red House, Port of Spain – Source

Sangeet 106.1 FM – This station covers the huge variety of Indo-Trinidadian music – chutney, classical Indian music, Bollywood, and all sorts of jams that weave in Hindi and Indian music. Fun hosts, call-ins, and requests too! Listen live here.

Radio Toco 106.7 FM – Local radio for the town of Toco, up on the northeast corner of Trinidad. There’s a huge variety of shows, depending when you tune in. Sometimes it’s gospel, sometimes it’s dance remixes or soca, sometimes it’s the news or a breakfast show. It’s never the same thing twice. Listen live here.

Pulse 89.5 FM – Based out of Signal Hill on Tobago. When I tuned in on the weekend, and got an amazing live DJ set, blasting a huge upbeat dance mix. They also have lots of live DJ sets on their Facebook page. Then when I tuned in on Monday morning, it was a very sharp and intelligent call-in show about issues of corruption and inefficiencies in government. Listen live here.


“Latvian Tobago” sounds as ridiculous as Czechoslovak Togo, but this was an actual attempt by the Duchy of Courland (modern day Latvia) to colonize Tobago. They got to the point of a fort and a town, with growing population, international trade, and unfortunately, slavery and violence against Indigenous peoples.

So why was there never a Latvian Caribbean? The Dutch outplayed them for control of Tobago, and Courland itself was caught up in European wars between the larger Baltic powers around it. Tobago would continue to be fought over by European powers for centuries. The Latvian attempt at an empire evaporated, and all that’s left today is an oddly brutalist monument with some very dated language, plus some place names.

Here’s a slightly irreverent look at the odd bit of history that was New Courland:

There’s still a bay on Tobago called “Great Courland Bay” – check out this drone footage, it’s beautiful:

European colonialism is not really something to laugh at; there was so much violence inherent to the whole process – which still has effects on our everyday lives. However, I am totally losing it at the absolutely ridiculous flag of New Courland.

There is only one step to building an empire, and it is crab.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Even more snacks

Got a huge grab bag of Trinidadian snacks from Caribbean Export Co on Ebay – there’s so many things that I’m going to need to break this up into three posts!

Holiday Big Foot – This giant monster-foot shaped cheezies are really popular, they seem to be the snack from Trinidad. They’re enormous cheezies, with a big flavour – there’s garlic and paprika and a little bit of tang. These are really REALLY good. They also make spicy ones, I’d love to get my hands on them.

Charles Lunch – There is a LOT going on with this chocolate bar – it’s a multi-course Lunch! So, seems like it’s a wafer core, with caramel and chocolate, then a larger outside layer of chocolate with peanuts and toasted rice in it. It’s really good – there’s a lot of different textures, and they’re generous with the caramel.

Charles Tiki Gold Chocolate Bolt – I got several different flavours of Tiki Gold in my order, so I’m starting with “Chocolate Bolt” – straight up chocolate. It’s straightforward wafers coated in chocolate. The chocolate is pretty good, but feels a big underwhelming after the Lunch bar.

K’s Sweet Plums – A small bag of preserved plums. They’re very much like Japanese ume – slightly tart, slightly sweet, but they’ve also been preserved with some extra flavourings – there’s a little bit of spice at the end. Not bad – there’s apparently also a really spicy version, as well as other preserved fruits and chows.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Green fig curry

No actual figs involved – fig is a common term for bananas in Trinidad. I first thought that maybe this was a recipe for plantains, since it’s a cooked curry, but nope, the dish is unripe bananas, in a curry with coconut and salt cod. The recipe is sometimes called “green fig talkari” – talkari being a useful catchall for all kinds of curries.

This recipe is from Sweet Hands by Ramin Ganeshram – she’s a great food writer; I’d recommend checking out her articles on food history and culture, as well as her recipes.

It’s quick and easy to make, you just need to soak the salt cod first. I picked up the kind in pieces rather than fillets so they’d be easier to shred. The curry cooks up quickly, with a good strong punchy aroma.

Both the bananas and salt cod are comparatively mild ingredients, the former giving a subtle sweetness, the latter a nice fishy aroma. The big flavour comes from the curry, garlic, onion, and hot sauce – I used an extra hot curry powder, as well as Trinidadian Scotch Bonnet hot sauce. This is tasty – I like the slightly toothy texture of the cooked green bananas.

The only catch? The goo that sticks to your hands after peeling the bananas. It took me two different soaps, olive oil, and hand sanitizer to get it off!