Trininista takes on the World - one issue at a time

I went to Tesco today, as opposed to Sainsbury's to get some rations for the week. There is a full "ethnic" section in my local Tesco, with stuff I don't always find in Sainsbury's. However, my grouse today, and this is not against Tesco at all, but a clear indictment of Trinidad and Tobago's manufacturing industry -

Why are all the Caribbean products from Jamaica?

I was really annoyed by this and this, again, is nothing against Tesco and nothing against Jamaica. In fact, kudos to Jamaica for making their presence felt. I could get their awful tasteless crackers as opposed to a bag of yummy Crix...

Whole wheat Crix trumps the competition in my opinion

...their seasoning which I don't like the taste of, as opposed to a bottle of Mabel's green seasoning; their hard dough bread, which I actually do like but I rarely eat white bread nowadays. I am really disappointed T&T. Really unimpressed. Is it any wonder why people think Trinidad is a town in Jamaica? REALLY?

However, with my care package coming direct from South Trinidad via British Airways and one lovely lady, I now have proper seasoning, my fave soy milk so I was loving the cereal aisle once more and proper cold meds after the Great Flu of 2010 depleted my supply. But had I remembered, I would have asked mums to send me a huge block of New Zealand cheddar cheese. I have tried. I have given it a good shot. I really experimented with it. But...

I hate British cheddar cheese. I really do. I love cheese and though I have my select cheeses I have when sipping on a glass of wine on the weekend, they aren't cheap enough for the every day student life sandwiches, nor yummy enough. But ugh...British cheddar is gross. Every 2 weeks, at my neighbourhood Hi-Lo, I would buy a block of Anchor light cheddar cheese. It's just the best cheese ever. A cheese sandwich here is just not the same. Macaroni pie is not the same. It's probably for the best - a few calories less. But I would kill for a block of NZ cheddar right about now. My first macaroni pie attempt here in London was not too shabby, considering it was a three-cheese pie because using British cheddar alone would have killed it. The Red Leicester topping gave it an awesome colour. The third cheese, if you want to count it, came from the fact that half of the pie was made from a box of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese - so American sharp cheddar? lol. It's great!

Macaroni pie. Yummers.

Come to think of it, I had cheese issues in Jamaica as well. I always took my cheese with me from home because the idea of cheese in a tin was odd to me. What was odder was the fact that the cheese did not melt. I mean, you put that crap in the oven and unlike regular, normal cheese, this stuff did not really get gooey and stringy under heat. How could I eat that?

And as I am talking about national differences, from product placement to cheese, just a quick note on language as well. A man today told me I did not sound like a Trini. I am not sure which Trini he was comparing me to but I can assure you, my accent is very Trini. This is the thing - we all don't sound the same, buddy. Depending on where you live and your education, your accent is bound to be a bit different. This is not rocket science. All Brits don't sound the same either. My Greek professor pointed this out earlier this week when someone said the word "computer" as "compu-ah". He was a bit flabbergasted in that way he gets flabbergasted. I thought it was hilarious because though not sure how that accent would be classified by location, the omission of the "t" sound here in the land of English, is a great source of amusement for me.

Boh-uhl - bottle
Wha - what
Keh-uhl - kettle
Compu-ah - computer

Hilarious. Jamaicans have swapped the "h" sounds so that where there is an "h", there is no sound, and where there is no "h", there is the sound.

Onda - Honda
Hunder - under

Trinis often use the word "does" where it does not need to be, and they know better but it's part of the dialect.

I does tell him - I tell him
I does do it - I do it

But not all Brits say compu-ah, not all Jamaicans do weird things with the letter "h" and not all Trinis use double verbs. So when this bright and farse man tells me today I do not sound like a Trini, and mind you, he is not a Trini, I had to ask him when was the last time he went to Trinidad. This was in direct contrast to the Bajan lady in the poultry and meat aisle who asked me something about the price of a pack of wings and upon hearing my accent - "You from Trinidad? You would know that accent anywhere, girl".

Silly man.


  1. Wait, I thought Jamaica WAS the Caribbean.

    Just kidding!

    I remember living in Canada and not being able to find certain things that were staples back home in California. That sounds like a great care package!

  2. We started using monterey jack (or pepperjack) cheese when we make macaroni pie here. Adds a nice bit of flavour and the colour not too bad either! ;)

  3. girl i feel your pain...I went 2 yrs up here before I find the tropical supermarket...and it has Crix, mabel green seasoning and mauby syrup, and even peardrax if I feel for a little bubbly :) send me your address I could send you some Crix ;)

  4. LOL. Trinidancer, if yuh going to send the Crix, then you or someone has to commit to the cheese. lol. Crix without cheese is like peanut butter without jelly.

    PT - I will try the MJ but I have not seen that here, or maybe I was not looking. It's all very British in the grocery so a lot of American products we just don't get. The Kraft was in the ethnic section eh. that should tell you something. Kraft - ethnic? lol

    KP - The care package was awesome. She also sent me C'mas cake, and some other necessities. Mums are great.

  5. Thank you! I am so sick of people telling me I don't have a Trini accent - people who have never been to Trinidad are suddenly experts at it. Winds me up all the time. Will bring you some Crix next month - wholegrain or regular?:)

  6. OMG. You're going home? Can I give you a $20 to buy me a block of cheese? lol. I am really desperate for some proper cheese. The Crix needs the cheese! And oh, it has to be wholewheat. Yummers.

  7. Wow, you sure go through a lot just to buy some groceries lol. But I'm sure that comes with the territory of living so far from home and from the things you're used to. I'm thinking Jamaica has a larger export system? That would be my guess. That's great you were able to get that care package, though. And I'm glad you liked the American cheddar cheese. :P

  8. See that's what happens when you go to Tesco! No decent food - you poor girl! I loved your take on the rotten local accent too....very funny. I of course speak the Queen's English...definitely no dropped 'h's here...I hate it when people pronounce it 'Haitch' instead of 'aitch' too.
    I don't know if you'd find what you want in Waitrose or Asda but I'm going to go online and look for you - 'can't 'av me ol' girlfren' starvin' can I?'

  9. Sorry! There seems to be no decent food at all....I tried online and today I wnet to the health food store in Solihull which normally sells everything (and I do mean everything) but even that didn't have anything I could send to about I book a holiday to Trinidad and Tobago and then come home with the goods?
    Thank you for your lovely comment about my last post - see you didn't know I was romantic at heart did you?


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