Recent Posts

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 8 – Ash Wednesday

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 8 – Ash Wednesday

After the frenzied crescendo of Carnival Tuesday all merriment and debauchery ends (or is supposed to end) with the ushering in of Ash Wednesday and the start of the Roman Catholic observance of Lent. My father tells me that ‘back in the day’ all sound […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 – Carnival Bands

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 – Carnival Bands

  I was talking to a Brazilian friend a few years ago and she was surprised at some of the differences between our Carnival and theirs. You see it was a few weeks prior when she decided to look and see what costume/band she should […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 6 – J’Ouvert & Ole Time Mas

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 6 – J’Ouvert & Ole Time Mas

  J’ouvert (joo-VAY) is the start to the Carnival celebrations. It begins in the pre-dawn hours of Carnival Monday and lasts until daybreak. J’ouvert (which is a Creole corruption of the French Jour Ouvert – day opening) is also known as ‘dirty mas’. It seems […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 5 – Dimanche Gras

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 5 – Dimanche Gras

Dimanche Gras takes place on the Sunday night before Ash Wednesday. Here the Calypso Monarch is chosen (after competition) and prize money and a vehicle bestowed. Also the King and Queen of the bands are crowned, where each band to parade costumes for the next […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 4 – Fetes!

If you are getting the sense that Carnival is one big long party you are right! So it only makes sense that one big long party would be made of many many big long parties as well. These parties in Trinidad are called fetes and […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 3 – Steelbands and Panorama

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 3 – Steelbands and Panorama

It seems that every time a North American program wants to denote the ‘tropics’ you will hear the sound of a steelpan. It doesn’t even to seem to matter if the ‘tropics’ are in the Caribbean on a cruise ship or in Hawaii! If you […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 2 – Soca Music

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 2 – Soca Music

It is hard to imagine Carnival without music. And the definitive music of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is soca. So what is Soca Music? Well, why not let Soca Superstar Machel Montano say it in his own words? From Caribbean Music 101 (the original link […]

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – A Brief Overview

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – A Brief Overview

  With only a few days before ‘High Mas’ it is time again to shine a spotlight on Trinidad & Tobago’s largest cultural festival, Carnival. Where did the word “carnival” come from? Hundred and hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in […]

Purim Menu (video)

Purim Menu (video)

Purim Menu 2011 • East Indian Chickpea Salad • Hummus • Pasta Puttanesca • Broccoli Gratin • Haman’s Ears/Orejas de Haman • Sarina’s Rum and Raisin Hamantsachen It always tickles me how close Purim and Carnival fall most years. I especially enjoy Purim because it’s […]

Republic Day Menu

Republic Day Menu

Trinidad & Tobago celebrates its Republic Day on September 24th. This day is usually quieter and more understated in celebration than Independence Day, but equally looked forward to for it is a respite from the work week 🙂 Here is a menu suggestion for your […]