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Punch de Creme (recipe)

Punch de Creme (recipe)

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

Punch de Creme, is another of Trinidad’s traditional Christmas drinks. One thing that I really like about punch de creme (as opposed to traditional eggnog) is the use of citrus flavors like lime and Angostura bitters (which has orange extract). This gives the ‘nog’ a […]

Trinidad Paime (recipe)

Trinidad Paime (recipe)

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

As promised, here is a recipe for Paime (pron. PAY-me)! Paime is basically a sweet version of the savoury pastelle. I only recently discovered that Paime is also a traditional Xmas dish. Well that explains why it seemed I never could find it lol! No […]

Trinidad Pastelles (recipe) now with Delicious Vegan Option!

Trinidad Pastelles (recipe) now with Delicious Vegan Option!

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

One of Trinidad’s seasonal delights, pastelles are a steamed cornmeal pie wrapped in banana leaves and filled with stewed meat, olives, and raisins. I’ve been told that they are very similar to Latin American tamales, and indeed Venezualan foodblogger Tomasnomas has a link to the […]

QUICK GINGER BEER Recipe at Epicurious.com

QUICK GINGER BEER Recipe at Epicurious.com

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

Well you know how Trinis like how to do everything las’ minute? 🙂 If you don’t have enough time to try my mother’s ginger beer recipe, here is a quick recipe from Epicurious.com that needs only 24 hours fermentation. Best of luck! 😀 Click here […]

Carmen’s Jamaican Ginger Beer (recipe)

Carmen’s Jamaican Ginger Beer (recipe)

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

My mom’s Jamaican Ginger Beer brewing in the sun 😀 The above scene and bottle feel as though they have always been with me, they occur with such comforting regularity. Ginger beer is something that is enjoyed by both Trinis and Jamaicans however in my […]

Jamaican Sorrel Rum Punch (recipe)

Jamaican Sorrel Rum Punch (recipe)

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

    When I first made this in 2006 it was my first time using a pack of dried sorrel for a recipe. I was pleasantly surprised. If you allow it to steep overnight the results are pretty damn good. The below recipe is my […]

Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)

Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

  Christmas in Trinidad is a diverse multicultural affair. Not just for the Christian population, but also through the secular participation of the nation at large through the enjoyment of our local christmas songs (called parang) and especially the creation and consumption of our traditional […]

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

    Like sorrel, Black Cake in Trinidad is a Christmas institution. Made predominantly of alcohol drenched prunes, currants and raisins, variations abound (and I love taste testing when we make the visiting rounds). Still, the best black cake is always the recipe that one […]

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

  What is Parang? Well Parang is the soundtrack to Christmas here in Trinidad. More than that however Parang is also a culture, a way of life that sweeps through my island after the lights of Eid and Divali have been put away. The What […]

Trinidad Stewed Chicken (recipe)

Trinidad Stewed Chicken (recipe)

  As my friends in the northern climates start to hunker down for the winter, and temperatures start to cool here as well (albeit only at night), I thought it would be good to share some local-styled “stew dishes”. Hearty and warm, they’re sure to […]

Taste Vinoteca: Available For Holiday Functions!

Taste Vinoteca: Available For Holiday Functions!

  Looking for a smaller intimate space for Christmas Lunch & Dinner Parties? Check out Taste Vinoteca at Maraval Plaza! Customized menus for any style function. Call Lisa at 1 (868) 323-4830 to design your business or personal experience.    

Enjoy A Night of Latin Dinner, Dancing & Cocktails this November at the Hyatt Trinidad (recap)

Enjoy A Night of Latin Dinner, Dancing & Cocktails this November at the Hyatt Trinidad (recap)

  I recently enjoyed the soft launch of this November’s series of Latin Dinner, Dancing & Cocktails at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. Being held each Saturday in November (yes there are 3 left!), this  innovative offering is being presented in partnership with the Caribbean & […]

Coconut Flour Muffins (recipe)

Coconut Flour Muffins (recipe)

Hey guys! It’s so great to finally, actually be back! This year really ran away from me after taking part in (and winning) the KISS Sandwich Showdown! As has been the pattern in recent years a mix of health and personal struggles meant I had […]

Cooking For The Holidays? Read these 6 Insider Tips!

Cooking For The Holidays? Read these 6 Insider Tips!

  Cooking for the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful! Check out these tips from six of my favourite foodie friends to learn how to do more in less time! COCKTAILS If you’re looking for a unique way to spice up your favourite drink consider […]

November is Latin Dancing, Cocktails & Dinner at the Hyatt Trinidad!

November is Latin Dancing, Cocktails & Dinner at the Hyatt Trinidad!

DINNER, COCKTAILS AND LATIN DANCE Enjoy a scrumptious dinner and spend your Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad learning to tango, cha cha, salsa or merengue. Latin Dance Schedule • November 3rd- Merengue •November 10th- Salsa • November 17th- Cha Cha • November 24th- […]

Divali Menu

Divali Menu

Learn about Divali in Trinidad


SPOTLIGHT

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

 

What is Parang? Well Parang is the soundtrack to Christmas here in Trinidad. More than that however Parang is also a culture, a way of life that sweeps through my island after the lights of Eid and Divali have been put away.

The What is Parang? webpage has a wonderful overview of the history and features of Trinidad Parang.

‘Parang’ is the present Trinidadian interpretation of the Spanish word, parranda . Parranda is the action of merrymaking and also refers to the group of carousers who serenade their friends throughout the year. The word parranda in general Spanish is used mainly in the expression andar de parranda, which in the modern Trinidadian vernacular is ‘to go paranging,’ akin to the Venezuelan parrandear, meaning not only merrymaking in the original sense, but also ‘liming’ or enjoying oneself, with or without music, moving from place to place with no time limit in mind. (Moodie-Kublalsingh 1994, 65-66).

Los Alumnos de San Juan Parang Group
 

Los Alumnos de San Juan Parang Group (credit unknown)

 

Growing up parang meant two women in particular, Daisy Voisin and Sharlene Flores. Daisy Voisin was the Grande Dame of Parang and no one will ever touch or claim her crown, I think all would agree. Her voice and passion for the music have not been matched and it really is a shame that more has not been done to document her life, her performances, and her artistic legacy. I am really glad to be in possession of one of the last CDs she made before her death in 1991. Fortunately through the magic of YouTube we never have to be without her voice or image 🙂

For more on Daisy Voisin:
Alexandra “Daisy” Voisin – de Queen of Parang (TnT Island)
Daisy Voisin (Wikipedia)

Unlike Daisy, Sharlene Flores was the ambassadress of a new musical hybrid ‘parang soca’. Distinguished by English lyrics and a more secular message she put a fresh young face onto the art form. I haven’t really heard her much from her since the 80’s, and those songs from my childhood still remain her most popular, becoming local standards.

For more on Sharlene Flores:
Sharlene Flores (Wikipedia)

In the past 2 decades the lines between carnival soca and parang soca have become increasingly blurred. The parang soca of Sharlene Flores’ day seems downright languid compared to the faster rhythms of today’s fete joints. first by melding calypso rhythms to become parang soca, and most recently by incorporating classical Indian rhythms and tonalties to form ‘chutney parang soca’. Much like our cuisine, the possibilities for musical fusion seem endless!

The current Queen of Parang Soca for the past decade or more has definitely been Marcia Miranda! This song brings to mind the roving bands of parang singers (parangderos) that used to be very popular criss-crossing the country. You’d welcome them into your home and they would sing in exchange for food and drink. Pretty similar to Christmas carollers I suppose. I haven’t seen them as much in recent years, but I know that they are still going strong in many communities around the country. Unfortunately however, as the below video demonstrates, it seems Marcia’s vistors left with a whole lot more! 😆

So far I have been focusing on the ladies of parang and you would be forgiven if you thought there were no men. The fact is that the men in recent years have not been as prominent, however for many decades the Lara Brothers ruled as Parang’s Kings (alongside Daisy’s Queen).

The men of parang today are much more likely to be found in its more lucrative hybrids. Parang soca is pretty much owned by Scrunter.

And of course you know there would also be chutney parang! 🙂

Wikipedia has a pretty exhaustive entry on the parang genre.

So, there we have it. Christmas as Parang. It could only happen in Trinidad!

Over the following days I will be sharing the following with you (links will automatically update as each post goes live 🙂 )

TriniGourmet’s Official Christmas Recipe Round-Up!

Trinidad Black Cake
Sorrel
Sorrel Rum Punch
Ginger Beer
Ginger Beer (quick)
Pastelles
Paime
Punch de Creme/Punch a Creme/Ponch de Crema