The Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook

Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook

Wow how would one describe the Naparima Girls’ Cookbook? This book has become -the- defacto Trinidadian cookbookfor Trinis both locally and abroad. It’s given to brides and to students preparing to go overseas (that’s how I got mine). In fact it’s such an institution that it’s easy to forget that it only began in 1987! Conceived as a fundraising tool for the Naparima Girls’ High School the Naparima Cookbook recently underwent considerable revision. Gone is the practical ‘copybook’ size and compact printing of yore (that’s my well-loved and worn copy above). Instead gloss and high saturation colours were introduced. I don’t care for the new large elongated size but I appreciate that many of the recipes have been updated to reflect modern health-conscious preferences. I also enjoy the ample use of color photography. However there’s something no-nonsense and utilitarian about the original that I adore.


Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook

The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago & the Caribbean brings together a collection of recipes reflecting the tastes and cultures of the diverse ethnic groups of Trinidad & Tobago. This revised and improved edition includes more than 500 recipes and 32 colored photographs. Thousands of copies of the Diamond Jubilee edition have been sold and we are pleased to know that this book is being used by individuals, families, schools and caterers throughout the world. Many people have referred to the book as a complete one, with great recipes, simple methods and excellent results.

Many of the recipes have been handed down from generation to generation.

For several years now people in the US and Canada were able to purchase the Naparima Girls’ Cookbook on Amazon.com via a local online distributor. I’ve noticed however that that arrangement seems to have ended though, and second hand prices on Amazon have skyrocketed to the insane $148.50 US!

I spent some time the other day looking to see what other alternatives I may be able to offer to people interested in purchasing this book. I was happy to find the following site, calling itself NaparimaGirlsCookbook.com (appears to be Canadian) that promises to have the book in stock at the MUCH more reasonable ($38 CAD). TriniFood.com is also offering the book to US, UK, and Canadian customers for $45US. I have no affiliation with, or first-hand experience of, either operation, so do your due diligence, and if you have any problems feel free to let me know so that I can alert others.

Either way, I consider the Naparima Girls’ Cookbook the best publication for anybody who is interested in learning more about Trinidadian cuisine. You won’t get many stories or context, for that you’ll have to turn to Ramin Ganeshram’s Sweet Hands: Island Cooking From Trinidad And Tobago. No, the Naparima Girl’s Cookbook is interested in one thing, and one thing alone – getting Trini-styled food on to your table ASAP.

Update: 01/03/07
I have been alerted that the Canadian site NaparimaGirlsCookbook.com wanted $90CAD for shipping and handling!

Update: 01/09/07
Valerie at NaparimaGirlsCookBook.com responds! I have combined her replies, you can see them in their original format in the below comment thread.
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“Naparima Girl?「どィび「s Cookbook New Edition is available on our website,www.naparimagirlscookbook.com. The price is $38.00 CAN. excluding shipping costs. Also available are hard covers that retail for $50.00 CAN. Regarding the comment made about shipping charges of $90.00 Can. for the Naparima Girl?「どィび「s Cookbook, this shipping charge was quoted to us by the Shipping Company to England. This is not our cost, it?「どィび「s the shipping company?「どィび「s cost. The customer can choose a shipper. This was an expedited order.”
.
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You can read the original customer’s reply to Valerie and all subsequent comments here.

Update: 01/10/05
As promised, the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook is now available for purchase on TriniGourmet.com at the flat rate of $45 USD (includes shipping and handling). Click here for more details.

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://www.naparimagirlscookbook.com Valerie Mohan

    Regarding the comment made about shipping charges of $90.00 Can. for the Naparima Girl’s Cookbook, this shipping charge was quoted to us by the Shipping Company to England. This is not our cost, it’s the shipping company’s cost. The customer can choose a shipper. This was an expedited order.

  • http://www.naparimagirlscookbook.com Valerie Mohan

    Regarding the comment made about shipping charges of $90.00 Can. for the Naparima Girl’s Cookbook, this shipping charge was quoted to us by the Shipping Company to England. This is not our cost, it’s the shipping company’s cost. The customer can choose a shipper. This was an expedited order.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Valerie – thank you for your responses. I will post them as an update as it is good for everyone to know the options that are available to them. Best Wishes!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Valerie – thank you for your responses. I will post them as an update as it is good for everyone to know the options that are available to them. Best Wishes!

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Valerie – I wasn’t questioning your integrity, just the cost of getting the book to the UK.

    When my dad tried to order the book the shipper was given as UPS and he did not ask for anything other than the standard delivery because we are not in any hurry to receive the book. There was no mention of the shipping charge before the purchase, but in fairness you were very good and refunded the purchase fee immediately on request.

    If you want to sell copies of the book over here you need to find a cheaper deliverer because $90 to deliver a $40 book is obviously silly. My brother’s girlfriend is getting a copy brought back from carnival next month.

    Regards
    Trig.

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    Valerie – I wasn’t questioning your integrity, just the cost of getting the book to the UK.

    When my dad tried to order the book the shipper was given as UPS and he did not ask for anything other than the standard delivery because we are not in any hurry to receive the book. There was no mention of the shipping charge before the purchase, but in fairness you were very good and refunded the purchase fee immediately on request.

    If you want to sell copies of the book over here you need to find a cheaper deliverer because $90 to deliver a $40 book is obviously silly. My brother’s girlfriend is getting a copy brought back from carnival next month.

    Regards
    Trig.

  • Helen

    Wow, Valerie beat me to it.

    I see the mystery regarding the shipping charges has been solved as Valerie has now posted her comments directly.

    I personally spoke to her about it and like she commented, the customer can choose their method of shipment. Their usual method of shipping is by UPS. However, if you wish to pay a lower shipping fee they will ship by regular Canada Post or any other method you do so choose. Valerie said this request can be done by simply emailing her.

    Anyway, Valerie was really nice when I asked her about the questionable $90 shipping cost. Overall, she was really nice and pleasant to speak to.

    I can now say I have finally acquired this hot little property after my 2 year search for it. Yayyyyyy!!

    Wow, did I ever come out in a big way from delurking.

  • Helen

    Wow, Valerie beat me to it.

    I see the mystery regarding the shipping charges has been solved as Valerie has now posted her comments directly.

    I personally spoke to her about it and like she commented, the customer can choose their method of shipment. Their usual method of shipping is by UPS. However, if you wish to pay a lower shipping fee they will ship by regular Canada Post or any other method you do so choose. Valerie said this request can be done by simply emailing her.

    Anyway, Valerie was really nice when I asked her about the questionable $90 shipping cost. Overall, she was really nice and pleasant to speak to.

    I can now say I have finally acquired this hot little property after my 2 year search for it. Yayyyyyy!!

    Wow, did I ever come out in a big way from delurking.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hi Helen :) Thanks so much for taking part in clearing up this matter. It is muchly appreciated. And yes what a prolific way to delurk :D When you gonna start using the book? :) It colourful ent? :D Hopefully they will be clearer about the option to ship via regular Canada Post, seems odd for it not to be the first choice though. Upgrades should be optional, not downgrades :lol: I’m glad she was helpful though, and I’m also glad that she came here and presented her side :)

    Now don’t go back into hiding now, y’hear? :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hi Helen :) Thanks so much for taking part in clearing up this matter. It is muchly appreciated. And yes what a prolific way to delurk :D When you gonna start using the book? :) It colourful ent? :D Hopefully they will be clearer about the option to ship via regular Canada Post, seems odd for it not to be the first choice though. Upgrades should be optional, not downgrades :lol: I’m glad she was helpful though, and I’m also glad that she came here and presented her side :)

    Now don’t go back into hiding now, y’hear? :D

  • Helen

    As the search for this book (at a reasonable cost) was quite frustrating for me, I felt like I had to do something to clarify the situation. Hopefully, more people will now find it easier to obtain a copy.

    I promise, I will not go back into hiding but I will continue to post here and there.

    Yes, the book is colourful and quite large and thick. This was unexpected. I have already tested some recipes from this book. I think I got them from the Trindad library after a google search. This was a while back so my memory of this is vague. I did make notes while testing them and I have already tweaked them.

    Bye for now and it was a lot of fun commenting on your blog.

  • Helen

    As the search for this book (at a reasonable cost) was quite frustrating for me, I felt like I had to do something to clarify the situation. Hopefully, more people will now find it easier to obtain a copy.

    I promise, I will not go back into hiding but I will continue to post here and there.

    Yes, the book is colourful and quite large and thick. This was unexpected. I have already tested some recipes from this book. I think I got them from the Trindad library after a google search. This was a while back so my memory of this is vague. I did make notes while testing them and I have already tweaked them.

    Bye for now and it was a lot of fun commenting on your blog.

  • mom

    Hi Sarina
    This is Chennette and Lilandra’s Mom
    The fruit that is Annato/ Achiote on the new Naparima Cookbook is also known by the common name of Okhcoo( hope I spelt it correctly). It is used to make/give the red colouring which many trini cooks of long ago could not make stewed fish without. And by my Mom always in her salted fish with ochroes and conrmeal dumplings steamed in coconut milk.
    It is a big tree and usually when the pods are ready if they are not harvested on time there would be a red spotted carpet of dirt or grass under the tree. Our neighbours had one a while back where I now live.
    Take care and all the best on your site

  • mom

    Hi Sarina
    This is Chennette and Lilandra’s Mom
    The fruit that is Annato/ Achiote on the new Naparima Cookbook is also known by the common name of Okhcoo( hope I spelt it correctly). It is used to make/give the red colouring which many trini cooks of long ago could not make stewed fish without. And by my Mom always in her salted fish with ochroes and conrmeal dumplings steamed in coconut milk.
    It is a big tree and usually when the pods are ready if they are not harvested on time there would be a red spotted carpet of dirt or grass under the tree. Our neighbours had one a while back where I now live.
    Take care and all the best on your site

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hi ‘Mom’! :) Wow so thrilled that you passed by and left a comment!! Okhcoo. Wow :) Your mom’s fish stew sounds AMAZING! I’m gonna have to give that combination a try *mouth waters* :) I am fascinated that it was used in fish stew as well. I wonder why this went out of favour? :( Thanks for passing by :) Feel free to not be a stranger and to comment away :) You and your daughters bring tons of smiles :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Hi ‘Mom’! :) Wow so thrilled that you passed by and left a comment!! Okhcoo. Wow :) Your mom’s fish stew sounds AMAZING! I’m gonna have to give that combination a try *mouth waters* :) I am fascinated that it was used in fish stew as well. I wonder why this went out of favour? :( Thanks for passing by :) Feel free to not be a stranger and to comment away :) You and your daughters bring tons of smiles :D

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Trig: I bought a copy of the book once and sent it to a friend in London. I shipped it with TTPost (probably Expedited because it was so heavy that the first class mailing rate was almost the same as the EMS rate). I think the shipping for the book was about the same as the cost of the book.

    If I recall correctly the price of the book was about TT$120 (or less)? And the shipping might have been TT$145 or something like that. I don’t remember anymore exactly but I guess I spent something like TT$250-TT$300 to get the book to London.

    Sarina…Mom told me she left a comment :)

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Trig: I bought a copy of the book once and sent it to a friend in London. I shipped it with TTPost (probably Expedited because it was so heavy that the first class mailing rate was almost the same as the EMS rate). I think the shipping for the book was about the same as the cost of the book.

    If I recall correctly the price of the book was about TT$120 (or less)? And the shipping might have been TT$145 or something like that. I don’t remember anymore exactly but I guess I spent something like TT$250-TT$300 to get the book to London.

    Sarina…Mom told me she left a comment :)

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    wow – Sarina, you are getting exposes and thing on the site man – even my mother contributing to your information gathering :-) Mom keeps a Chubby bottle of oocoo (that’s how it sounds to me) in the fridge to add to things that need some reddish colour. For the life of me I can’t remember what she uses it for though…I remember her sister used it for some pepper shrimp when she was cooking by us, to give it a nice red colour.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – all yuh is trouble :D

    Chennette – ah bussin’ FILEZ! :D this oocoo thing makin’ me feel left out …. :( how do i get some? make it? :(

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    wow – Sarina, you are getting exposes and thing on the site man – even my mother contributing to your information gathering :-) Mom keeps a Chubby bottle of oocoo (that’s how it sounds to me) in the fridge to add to things that need some reddish colour. For the life of me I can’t remember what she uses it for though…I remember her sister used it for some pepper shrimp when she was cooking by us, to give it a nice red colour.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – all yuh is trouble :D

    Chennette – ah bussin’ FILEZ! :D this oocoo thing makin’ me feel left out …. :( how do i get some? make it? :(

  • mom

    Hi Sarina

    We use to make the liquid but after our neighbours tree dried down by Caroni aeial spraying , I started purchasing it in small chubby bottles at Chaguanas market from the people who bring things from Grenada and St Vincent. On one of my trips to Miami by my sister in law I discovered the powdered Annato/Achiote in Publix Food Markets as it is used in Mexican Cooking. I was told so by my relative and confirmed by one of her Mexican friends.

    Take care and all the best

  • mom

    Hi Sarina

    We use to make the liquid but after our neighbours tree dried down by Caroni aeial spraying , I started purchasing it in small chubby bottles at Chaguanas market from the people who bring things from Grenada and St Vincent. On one of my trips to Miami by my sister in law I discovered the powdered Annato/Achiote in Publix Food Markets as it is used in Mexican Cooking. I was told so by my relative and confirmed by one of her Mexican friends.

    Take care and all the best

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Mom – ooo thanks for the information :) I will check to see if they have it in the Port of Spain market then :) Chubby bottles! I’ll be lookin’! I’ve heard that annato is like a staple additive in latin american cuisine so that makes perfect sense :D I can see where your daughters got there love of food from :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Mom – ooo thanks for the information :) I will check to see if they have it in the Port of Spain market then :) Chubby bottles! I’ll be lookin’! I’ve heard that annato is like a staple additive in latin american cuisine so that makes perfect sense :D I can see where your daughters got there love of food from :D

  • mom

    Hi Sarina
    I just checked my bottle of Annato and it is made by Badia Spices. We do get that brand in Pricesmart and other groceries but I have not really seen Annato/Achiote. It is labelled as such on the bottle and there is also a recipe on how to make it using the pulp and seeds on the bottle.
    Hope you find it, it is great for Pepper shrimp as Chennette mentioned

    All the best

  • mom

    Hi Sarina
    I just checked my bottle of Annato and it is made by Badia Spices. We do get that brand in Pricesmart and other groceries but I have not really seen Annato/Achiote. It is labelled as such on the bottle and there is also a recipe on how to make it using the pulp and seeds on the bottle.
    Hope you find it, it is great for Pepper shrimp as Chennette mentioned

    All the best

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Mom – me no eat shrimp but me will def. try in a fish steeeeew :D I just asked my mom and she knows what you talkin’ about and will pick it up at the market. I can’t wait :D She said in the small islands they call it roocoo :) so similar!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Mom – me no eat shrimp but me will def. try in a fish steeeeew :D I just asked my mom and she knows what you talkin’ about and will pick it up at the market. I can’t wait :D She said in the small islands they call it roocoo :) so similar!

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Pepper CHicken? Pepper Fish? Pepper Veggies?

    I was just giving info for Trig because US$90 is waaaay much.

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    Pepper CHicken? Pepper Fish? Pepper Veggies?

    I was just giving info for Trig because US$90 is waaaay much.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – I like you giving info :) Info is good :) I wish someone would give me $90 USD right about now :( I could pepper anything? :D Yay! mango yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lilandra – I like you giving info :) Info is good :) I wish someone would give me $90 USD right about now :( I could pepper anything? :D Yay! mango yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    I could contribute to my camera fund

  • http://lilandra.com/blog Lilandra

    I could contribute to my camera fund

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    I’ve published a piece on annatto in my herbs and spices section but I must hang my head in shame because I said “Annatto is sometimes used as a food dye but not often as a spice and I have never used it.” Now I’ve read about it on your site from Chennette and Lilandra?ツ「ツづツィツづ堕「s mum I will update my article.

  • http://www.aidanbrooks.blogspot.com Trig

    I’ve published a piece on annatto in my herbs and spices section but I must hang my head in shame because I said “Annatto is sometimes used as a food dye but not often as a spice and I have never used it.” Now I’ve read about it on your site from Chennette and Lilandra?「どィび「s mum I will update my article.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – I bookmarked your piece :) I’m gonna do an entry on it in the near future (esp. after mom brings back the oil and I try it out). I’ll make sure to link to your piece in it as well :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Trig – I bookmarked your piece :) I’m gonna do an entry on it in the near future (esp. after mom brings back the oil and I try it out). I’ll make sure to link to your piece in it as well :)

  • Marie

    I’ve heard about the book alot, but I’m wondering if you can tell me which recipes have been deleted from the new edition…I luv Trini food and would hate it if I was deprived of any recipes!!!
    Also, I live in New York, and does anyone know if the book may be available somewhere here?

  • Marie

    I’ve heard about the book alot, but I’m wondering if you can tell me which recipes have been deleted from the new edition…I luv Trini food and would hate it if I was deprived of any recipes!!!
    Also, I live in New York, and does anyone know if the book may be available somewhere here?

  • Gillian Jaglal

    I,ve heard about it and would like to own a copy.
    I,ve also tasted some of the delicious recipes!
    Incredible!

  • Gillian Jaglal

    I,ve heard about it and would like to own a copy.
    I,ve also tasted some of the delicious recipes!
    Incredible!

  • Lorraine

    I Love this book, it really did inspire me 2 become a chef even more, i was currently a student of Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive In Central Trinidad. I used this book to help me in my SBA’s and it was Truly a Great help.And i signed up For Hotel School in Chagaramus im hope i get through with it!! Thanks alot For the Naparima Cook-book!!! One Love

  • Lorraine

    I Love this book, it really did inspire me 2 become a chef even more, i was currently a student of Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive In Central Trinidad. I used this book to help me in my SBA’s and it was Truly a Great help.And i signed up For Hotel School in Chagaramus im hope i get through with it!! Thanks alot For the Naparima Cook-book!!! One Love

  • http://trinigourmet.com Adana

    I had that recipe book when i was doing food and nutrition in school,lent it to a friend and never got it back.I was so suprised when i saw my neighbour with one ,luv this new version i have to get my self a copy.

  • http://trinigourmet.com Adana

    I had that recipe book when i was doing food and nutrition in school,lent it to a friend and never got it back.I was so suprised when i saw my neighbour with one ,luv this new version i have to get my self a copy.

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  • http://www.everythingtrini.com R. Romero

    EverythingTrini.com current Naparima Cookbook prices:
    Soft cover without shipping – US$45
    Hard cover without shipping – US$60

    Soft cover w. flat ship fee to US only – US$51 total
    Soft cover w. flat ship fee to Canada only – US$52 total
    Soft cover w. flat ship fee to any int’l location – US$57 total

    We ship out of Highland Park, NJ

    <a href="www.everythingtrini.com/commerce/search.php?mode=search&by_title=Y&by_shortdescr=Y&by_fulldescr=Y&including=all&substring=naparima"ALL NAPS COOKBOOKS

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