Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Season 1 Episode 7

Trinidad and Tobago

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jul 09, 2007 on Travel Channel

Episode Recap

Andrew is in the brother-sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the top two islands in a series of islands off the coast of Venezuela. He begins his trip on Tabago to meet with Haynes Cowie, the head of the Tabago Hunters Club who take Andrew along to go hunting for iguana, a local lizard and dish. They go searching for it in the jungle, shaking it out the trees. Andrew takes his specimen back to Marcia's Diner where it is prepared and cooked with curry, onions and garlic peppers and served with flour dumplings. Andrew considers the cooked iguana firm but greasy and a little cheesy.

Andrew is soon off to meet with Richard "Tobago" Cox, a local boat captain and diver to take Andrew diving for the meat of the conch, whose large pink shell has been sold to tourists for years. Often catching as many as a dozen each trip in fifty-feet of water, Cox sells many of his catch to restaurants. He returns back to shore at No Man's Land, a beach on the south coast of Tobago only reached by boat. He has to break the crown of the shell to release the pressure in it to release the meat. The meat is often eaten raw, except for the intestines, and Andrew tries the conch raw. At a barbecue, Andrew is joined by Captain Frothy, his son Adrian and friend, Skinny, for curry stew and dasheen, a local root vegetable. Andrew gathers sea grapes, peppers, lime, ginger and a caught lobster to make a salad. Joined with the conch made into seviche and marinated in lime juice, they eat on the beach.

Onward to Trinidad, Andrew revels in its carnivale atmosphere and tourism attractions. He locates and meets Tony Lazar, the original Souse King. Souse is a dish of meat, usually pork, chicken or seafood, pickled with vegetables in brine and oil. Tony has been serving souse for over eighteen years; his secret ingredient is prayer. He believes God's work is coming through his dishes. Andrew helps him set up for the dinner rush and gets the title, "Captain Souse-Tastic." After some musings on the success of Tony's business, Andrew tries Tony's cow-skin soup while waiting for his souse dish. The cow-skin soup is served with lime, pepper and potatoes and is considered a form of local Viagra. Andrew finally gets to sample Tony's souse, one sampling with pig feet and the other with chicken feet. He praises both dishes.

Continuing to talk about how Trinidad is a mix of its African, American, Indian, Spanish and Chinese cultures, Andrew is off to his next guest. At Trinidad's Port-of-Spain, he meets guide Andrew Welch in the St. James Community. Welch is an expert in the local cuisine, and they travel from vendor to vendor, sampling dishes, such as roti, flat bread wrapped in a variety of chicken, goat meat and liver with spinach, chic peas and pumpkin. Andrew loves the experience. He goes on to have doubles. Doubles are actually called chana bara, but it became so usual to get two of them that they became called doubles. They are roti wrapped as a meal into a vegetable taco. Onward to Queen Sienna Park, they meet local chef Athea Guerra for cowheel soup served with vegetables, lime and nutmeg.

Onward to Maracas Bay, forty-five miles from the Port-Of-Spain, Andrew ends up at the San Juan Market looking for callaloo, not quite sure what it is. Is it a dish? Is it a plant? Turns out, it is both. Callaloo is a leafy vegetable mixed with coconut milk into callaloo the drink. Andrew finds pigtails ready to be made into pigs and stews along with a variety of fresh fish, including small sharks to be made into bake-and-sharks. Mostly made from the meat of the black tip shark, bake-and-sharks are sandwiches made from shark meat, and Gary Ferguson at the local Richard's Bake And shark sells thousands a day over his competitors. His sandwiches come with a variety of toppings such as hot sauce, cilantro, tamarind and slaw. It becomes Andrew's favorite sandwich.

Andrew eventually meets Mark De Gannes, Captain of a boat for off island fishing, and his First Mate, Glen Charlotte. They go off fishing for king fish to make sashimi. The fish is also eaten raw. Back at the dock, Charlotte shows his masterful skills in filleting, giving the heart of it to Andrew to eat with a bit of lime juice and sea salt. Andrew prepares the fish this time, braising it with sea salt, olive oil and lime before grilling it and sharing the catch with De Gannes and Charlotte, his new best friends.