October 26, 2009

Fruits of Trinidad and Tobago


I have a list of fruits that we ate as children growing up in Trinidad. Some of the fruits may result with a “what is dat, me eh know dat” or “damn I remember dat”; oh, and you can leave a short note/paragraph about a good 'fruit memory/experience' - it may end up as a blog post! I may not get them all but if you think I missed something please leave a comment to the post and I will update the list. 

Please scroll down below this Photo list for individually listed fruits!



Some of the fruits found in Trinidad & Tobago:

Arrowroot - The powder arrowroot is derived from the root of the arrowroot plant and is used as a thickener for sauces. It does not have any taste.

Balata – Oh gosh, so sweet... thumbs up for Balata. Now these fruits are not easy to get and can be found in some really tall trees. The fruit is very sweet but there is very little 'flesh' and a seed that is big inside (shell outside). You won't regret eating this fruit!


Bananas (aka Ripe Fig– sweet especially if the birds start to eat them. Now we can't forget the following - Sikyé, Silk, Gros Michel, Mataboro and Lacatan. Bananas are really good for the potassium but you can cut them up (ripe) freeze and use in smoothies.


Bananas (aka Green Fig) - Good for soups and for boiling and eating with salt fish  buljol (yummy). One thing to note is that green bananas contain 'resistant starch' that is helpful for persons who want to control their blood sugar levels.


Barbadine (aka Giant Granadilla)
- This fruit can be used (when ripe) to make a juice that is very similar to that of sour sop. This fruit unlike the sour sop grows on a vine that can be as long as 50 feet in length (sorry Trinis I am still using yards, feet and inches).


Breadfruit - Come on ah good 'oil down' or roasted... not considered poor people food anymore. There are two varieties - yellow and white (inside). The yellow variety is most popular in Trinidad. It is an excellent source of potassium, carbohydrate and fiber.

Black Sapote - This fruit is not so popular in Trinidad; I never ate this fruit! It is also known as Chocolate Pudding Fruit, Chocolate Persimmon and Zapote Prieto.

Cacao (Cocoa) Pods -



Cacao (Ripe Cacao in the pod) - The pulp that surrounds the cocoa bean tastes good... Just try it (ripe ones please)



Cacao (Cocoa Seeds) - Trinidad and Tobago's cocoa has been used to flavor other cocoa varieties. Trinidad's cocoa has won many awards because of its unique flavor.
Cocoa bean niblets are added to smoothies as a mood enhancer... try it! The nibs contain 'theobromine' that acts as a stimulant and a diuretic.

Cachiman (aka Cashima)- This fruit is also known as Jamaican Apple because it is sweet and tastes somewhat like custard.

Caimite aka Caimito or Star Apple – I am drooling now – I love this fruit. This is one of the best tasting fruit ever!


Caimite (Small Variety/Photo neeeded!) - There is a small variety of caimite that I remember eating in an estate in the Manzanilla area. This variety did not turn purple when ripe (remained green in color). I need a photo of this variety (please send in to me at ananda2456@gmail.com)... thank you!


Carailli - Gosh bitter like hell but I liked eating it as I matured (or should I say tolerated the taste)! I just learnt that that it is used as an antiinfective, antipyretic, anthelmintic and laxative


Cashew (Red and Yellow); cashew nut – Cashew was good for tying yuh tongue but the good ones were the ones the birds picked at, other than that the jam was really good. Cashew nuts, well now we could talk – loved roasting them and shelling and eating it right off the galvanize tray we roasted them on.


Chalta (Elephant Apple) - Now this is one fruit that I don't think you will eat "jus' so". This is still used to make anchar in the same manner green mangoes are used to make anchar.

Chataigne: This is Chataigne or as it is known is some places as 'bread nut'. This one was brought to my attention by Mingoao; it was not part of the listing. I don't know how I missed it because I have eaten so much curried chataigne with roti.


Chataigne Seeds: I don't know of anyone who did not enjoy eating chataigne seeds aka 'farting pills' as a youth. I said 'farting pills' because that is the name we called the boiled seeds of the fruits that fell from the trees.

Chenette (Quenepas) – a kids delight - too much work to enjoy this fruit if you ask me and most of the time they are not sweet!



The photo of these delicious cherries were taken in the sunlight of sweet Trinidad by my brother at his home in Couva. Don't they look really delicious. Don't you wish you were back home and had the opportunity to eat some of these Trini Cherries?
Christophine (Chayote) - It looks somewhat like a pear but is in fact a vegetable. Trinidadian s love to use this vegetable in Chow Mein. It is cut into finger strips and added to the meal.


Coconut (Green variety) - This is the one that you will see on so many trucks (for sale) in towns across the country. Coconut water is low in calories, high potassium content and reputed to lower blood pressure.

Coconut (Chiney Coconut) - Same health benefits of the regular variety above but is generally better tasting (sweet). There are the Yellow and Green varieties and they are round and smaller than the regular variety. 

Coconut (Dry) - ideal for many recipes including sugar cake and the milk for callaloo and in the copra stage is used to make coconut oil.




Coconut Jelly (Soft) - Now you can't simply drink coconut water and leave that soft delicious jelly in the shell... if you do, then you don't know what a treat you are missing. It is the coconut water that forms the jelly. Enjoy it and remember to leave us a line about the day you enjoyed eating coconut jelly.   
Cocorite – l loved going in the ‘forest’ to get cocorite. The one with the white pulp was nice but the jewel was the one with the pink flesh inside – yummy.


Custard Apple - This fruit is creamy inside with a very delightful taste.




Damson - I need help with this one! Information is needed on the fruit and I also need a photo! My Paramin friend Gail told me that it is a type of plum!

Douns (Doung) – I ate it but can’t remember the taste. I believe it is also known as crabapple (not sure).Oh and they also call it 'coolie plum'.




Fat Pork – This fruit is also known as 'Coco Plum' I ate it but don’t know what people loved about this fruit. Thanks for the photo Gailos... Paramin Gold!


Five Fingers (Star Fruit or Carambola) – I was not a lover of this fruit but it is good with salt and pepper! The fruit is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. This photo was taken from a tree in my brothers back yard in Couva!



Governor Plum (Flacourtia indica) - Dark purple when ripe



Garnicia - This fruit is also known as Lemon Drop Mangosteen fruit

Grapefruits - When ripe these fruits are a treat!



Shaddock (Pomelo) - The pink grapefruit is really sweet, for some reason we called it 'shaddock'(I don't have a clue about the name but that is what I remember call it. My grandfather had a tree in his back yard next to an old latrine (man that tree produced so much sweet fruit). I guess the latrine helped – lol.


Gri Gri - I can't remember the taste of this one but I do recall that I liked eating it... appreciate it because it takes a lot to get the fruit!

Gru Gru Bef (grugru bef) aka Banga fruit – Hard shell with a sticky delight inside.

Guava – Yes, as a youth I loved making guava jelly, guava jam and guava cheese eh... I had to boil the fruit outside in the yard on stones.


Hog Plum – Gosh yuh had to have ‘real belly to eat that’ – "Dat ting sour boi"!





Lime - a little lime juice to 'cut the freshness' from meat is a must!



Lemon - The smell and skin of this fruit always peeked my curisity - lemon juice is ok!

Mamisiporte - I don't recall eating this fruit but I heard so many people raving about the taste!



Mango – Now we talking, that was tea, breakfast and dinner. Curry mango, masala mango. This photo was also taken by my brother at his home in Couva!


Mango (green) - ideal for curry



Noni - Some people swear that the juice from this fruit has healing capabilities... I know it stinks! I tried it and believe me there has to be a better way to feel good!




Nutmeg - Yes we have nutmeg! So you thought we got them all from Grenada? Nah, nah nah, doh try dat!
Oranges – Loved going to the country estate in Biche that was a treat eating the fruit picked from the trees.

Passion fruit – Had enough of this growing on our fence – delicious juice when served very cold.





Paw Paw (Papaya) – It was an acquired taste for me but now I just love eating it.






Penny-Piece - OK, I got a photo and some information... not much pulp but sweet! This fruit is also known as 'chocky apple'. 

Portugals aka Potigal is a favorite fruit similar to mandarins





Peewah and Kerikel - I wasn't a lover of these/to each his own.This fruit is a member of the palm tree family and is also related to the gru gru that kids love so much.



Pineapple – Who doesn’t love pineapple?

Plums - I am talking about the regular plums that you find in the back yards of Trini homes. The green ones are great as a kid's desert with salt and 'bird peppers'. The ripe ones are yellow and are loved by the birds.

Pois Doux- This is a very unusual fruit but has a good taste to it... I doubt that it will be one that you would have a craving for though.

Pommecythre – If you don’t like pommecythre then something is really wrong with you. When they are ripe they are a delight and when pickled in salt water and pepper … exotic. Also known as June Plum and Golden Apple.

Pomegranate - This is one of the top ten fruits to use. It has been used to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Research shows that it can be effective against various forms of cancer and also Alzheimer's disease.


Pommerac – This fruit is known elsewhere as the Otaheite Apple (Maple Apple). They had to be really ripe to be enjoyed; some people craved it. I simply ate it if it was available but I was not a love of this fruit.



Primrose - This fruit is also known as "Rose Apple". I was told that you can get this fruit in Paramin (in the Northern Range). Well at least Gail (Wack Radio Shoutbox) told me that you can find them in Paramin.

Sapodilla (Naseberry) – OMG so delicious.The outer color is brown and when ripe is so delicious.







Roucou - I remember this was used for food coloring... I loved squishing them and getting my hands red!


Series (Cerise) – This is a kid's delight! Purple in color when ripe; we used to roll them between our palms until soft then suck the content out - yes the good 'ole' days!


Shaddock - Better known as Pink Grapefruit




Stinking Toe – One of my favorite but not easy to pick from the tree.




Sour Cherries - Sour? Hell yes, but with salt and pepper is a great treat!



Soursop (Guanabana) – The drinks were simply delicious served cold (with ice) on a hot day.



Sugar Apple – I can't recall eating this fruit; it is also known as Sweet Sop. I may be confusing this one with Cachima. If I did eat this fruit I simply can't recall at this time.

Sugar cane – Goes without saying – we love it!

Sorrel - Come on, christmas is not the same without sorrel.This fruit is also known as Roselle or Rosella fruit.

Tamarind (tambran) – Yummy - "Tambran sauce & Tramban balls". The 'Chiney tambran' is round and soft.





Tamarind Dayzah aka 'Chiney Tambran' - This is an unusual fruit that is very soft inside. I remember eating this on because (fortunately) one of our neighbors had a tree in their yard. This is not the kind of fruit that would cause your 'mouth to water'!


Tangerine - We like to call this fruit 'Potigal' (Portugal)

Tonka fruit,(Tanka) Bean – “Doh eat it or else you will get short breath” – yea right, I love eating tonka beans!


Tipitambo (Topi Tambo) - Is this a fruit? I thought you had to did it out of the ground? Hey but it is nice to eat!


Watermelon – But of course we love it.



Zaboca (Avocado) - I like the round ones that are like butter inside/put it in bread with a lil salt...now we talking.




If I missed any fruit or misrepresented any fruit here please leave a comment and I will adjust the posting. It was done to help us all recall the fruits we loved or did not like eating as children 'back in the day'!

 
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36 Responses to " Fruits of Trinidad and Tobago "
  1. Pepper said...
    October 31, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Never heard of cocorite . I will have to investigate that one when I go home

  2. Trinizagada said...
    October 31, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    Yuh gotta be kidding right?! We loved going in the bush for cocorite. Wow, I am so surprised.

  3. Island Girl said...
    February 10, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Oh migosh...i sucking some balata now.. all yuh missing out! Cocorite is the sweetest fruit. It is related to the coconut. All yuh foreign Trinis don't know what yuh missing.

  4. Anonymous said...
    June 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Really great article...enjoyed reading this to my neice who did not know of many of the fruits I grew up with.
    Can you post some pics...

  5. arimaboy said...
    September 16, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    There was a fruit called pommedillion. Is it the same as the passion fruit?

  6. Boo said...
    November 3, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    Tanker bean
    Guava
    Tamerine Dazer
    Sapodilla

    Don't think I spelt them right except for Guave, I remember having them as a child, there were trees in the neighbour's yard.

    Miss all the fruits from there, well, most of them, so, so good!!!!

  7. Anonymous said...
    November 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Pommedillion.... damn I forgot about that one.

  8. atriniriggie said...
    January 24, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    i saved this to my favorite...
    because a 2:30 in the morning I become aware of the fact that I was forgetting what I did and loved most about growing up in Trinidad.....
    your pictures brought my childhood rushing back to me and I remember eating most if not all of those fruits....
    Dam Trini was the best place for a little boy or girl to live life and explore....
    Thank you for the pictures and the memories...

  9. cbeanqueenCO said...
    March 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    droolin in CO. what memories. never had breakfast cereals. jus tons ah fruit cashew, mango: calabash,bellyfull,etc; tippi tambo, sapodilla, soursop, caimite, tonka bean, sikier fig, silk fig, gri gri. Lord what a life.

  10. Zipping said...
    April 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    What about Banga , don't think I saw that one .

  11. Trinizagada said...
    April 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Hey Zipping... I always thought Banga was gru gru beff. I will check

  12. Mingoao said...
    April 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Where is muh Peewah, and Chataigne . .

  13. Trinizagada said...
    April 24, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Mingoao, thanks for the reminder. I added the chataigne.

  14. parangman said...
    September 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    what about -pois doux and loucast





    parangman











  15. Santiwah said...
    September 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Pois doux and locust (do you mean stinking toe?)... they are listed!

  16. Anonymous said...
    January 23, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Almond, KoeWah

  17. Anonymous said...
    January 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Is Koewah Jackfruit? I think i saw some down in the Emperor Valley Zoo (where the wild hogs are).. and the primrose fruit are plentiful down Caura river (pass pool 2). Oh an can someone update me as to when Balata will be in season in Toco? Thanks

  18. Anonymous said...
    January 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I use to eat cocorite in Santa Cruz

  19. Anonymous said...
    February 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    I recall skidding on guavas that fell from the tree right outside my bedroom. It pains me to think how I griped about my father making juice from this fruit regularly. Now...one pays TT15 for 250ml and it is so RARE to see a guava tree now.

    I also ate the purple lip fruit 'caimate' and soooooo many types of mangoes. It's not nostalgia nah, it's utter folly that we are importing and consuming so much foreign fruit. Our 'local' fruit appear to be apples,grapes and pears complete with pesticides in skins.

  20. Anonymous said...
    February 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I remember almond, we ate the little bit of meat on the outside and then cracked the almond with a stone to get the small nut inside

  21. Anonymous said...
    March 20, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    I remember eating a fruit called bale...not sure of another name for it!

  22. Anonymous said...
    June 3, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Abricot
    mammy seapot. i ate alot of that as chow in Matelot

  23. Anonymous said...
    September 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Paid 20 dollars for a small bag of plums coming from Maracas last month,Ah eat all!!! Further up in comments someone mentioned having a Calabash for breakfast, I eh think that possible,maybe using a calabash basin to bath with.

  24. Anonymous said...
    February 7, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Pommedillion is related to the passion fruit; it has a "hair net" surounding it. Ever heard of "monkey serrette" (something like douns); and "chinese cucumber" (we used these curried with chicken to make up a full pot.).

  25. Anonymous said...
    February 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Pommedillion is related to the passion fruit; it has a "hair net" surounding it. Ever heard of "monkey serrette" (something like douns); and "chinese cucumber" (we used these curried with chicken to make up a full pot.).

  26. Trinigal said...
    February 21, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Manicou fig grows in the middle base of a pine patch. It is the size of Chiquito (figs) bananas When ripe it looks a bit yellow and covered with brown hairs. Tangy sweet taste.

    Cashew nuts from the Cashew tree. Roast cashew nuts was a family event. You collected your nuts from various neighbours trees over a period of time. Everyone compete to see who could save the most. Then Dad will announce the roast day, and on that day he would make a big roast and then you had to get your piece of wood to pong yuh cashew nut open. What a delicious treat you can't stop eating. We take it to bed an all.

  27. Trinigal said...
    February 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Manicou fig grows in the middle base of a pine patch. It is the size of Chiquito (figs) bananas When ripe it looks a bit yellow and covered with brown hairs. Tangy sweet taste.

    Cashew nuts from the Cashew tree. Roast cashew nuts was a family event. You collected your nuts from various neighbours trees over a period of time. Everyone compete to see who could save the most. Then Dad will announce the roast day, and on that day he would make a big roast and then you had to get your piece of wood to pong yuh cashew nut open. What a delicious treat you can't stop eating. We take it to bed an all.

  28. Trinigal said...
    February 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Manicou fig grows in the middle base of a pine patch. It is the size of Chiquito (figs) bananas When ripe it looks a bit yellow and covered with brown hairs. Tangy sweet taste.

    Cashew nuts from the Cashew tree. Roast cashew nuts was a family event. You collected your nuts from various neighbours trees over a period of time. Everyone compete to see who could save the most. Then Dad will announce the roast day, and on that day he would make a big roast and then you had to get your piece of wood to pong yuh cashew nut open. What a delicious treat you can't stop eating. We take it to bed an all.

  29. Trinigal said...
    February 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Manicou fig grows in the middle base of a pine patch. It is the size of Chiquito (figs) bananas When ripe it looks a bit yellow and covered with brown hairs. Tangy sweet taste.

    Cashew nuts from the Cashew tree. Roast cashew nuts was a family event. You collected your nuts from various neighbours trees over a period of time. Everyone compete to see who could save the most. Then Dad will announce the roast day, and on that day he would make a big roast and then you had to get your piece of wood to pong yuh cashew nut open. What a delicious treat you can't stop eating. We take it to bed an all.

  30. Trinigal said...
    February 21, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Manicou fig grows in the middle base of a pine patch. It is the size of Chiquito (figs) bananas When ripe it looks a bit yellow and covered with brown hairs. Tangy sweet taste.

    Cashew nuts from the Cashew tree. Roast cashew nuts was a family event. You collected your nuts from various neighbours trees over a period of time. Everyone compete to see who could save the most. Then Dad will announce the roast day, and on that day he would make a big roast and then you had to get your piece of wood to pong yuh cashew nut open. What a delicious treat you can't stop eating. We take it to bed an all.

  31. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon said...
    February 23, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    Thanks, I will be sharing this list with my son. I have been working to get my hands on local fruits so he knows about them, but they are sometimes hard to find even here in Trinidad.
    Some of the things listed might be vegetables, but part of the memories. Related to caraili, there are jinghi and lauki, which were curried long gourds. The jinghi was smooth and long and grew on a vine. Make a nice curry that mom served with roti. When the gourd dried on the wire fence outside, it was used as a very effective loofah!
    Your five fingers must be the sour variety. There is also a sweet variety that is delicious right off the tree.
    The cherries we roll to make soft before sucking out the insides were called governor cherries and had little round seeds.
    I guess there are too many mango varieties to expand your list but certainly starch and Julie mangoes are worthy of special mention.
    There was also a hairy little fruit that when peeled looked like a lychee. I think the name was rangotan? It was sweet and firm.
    Well, thanks for the list, and I will be searching for some of these for my family. My son got to pick a ripe cocoa pod from a tree in Tableland yesterday, and today, I'll be letting my nephews taste cocoa pulp. I plan to dry and roast the seeds and add some cinnamon to make some good old time cocoa tea!

    Best wishes, Marcia

  32. Marcia Nathai-Balkissoon said...
    February 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Thanks for the list, which I will use in my continuing efforts to share local fruits with my son.
    There are a few fruits and veggies that I hope you will add to your list.
    Jinghi and lauki are related to caraili and mom used to curry them and serve with roti. They grew on a vine on our bro wire fence and when the jinghi dried on the fence, people would use them as loofahs. I have seen them on sale for high prices.
    There was rangotan, which was a hairy little fruit that was the shape, colour, and size of a large strawberry. When peeled, it looked like a lychee. Tasted similar too.
    Do we have pomegranates in Trinidad? Where can I find a tree?
    The cherries you would roll to make soft were called governor cherries. They had small round seeds.
    There is the sour five finger variety that you seem to know, but there is also a sweet variety that is delicious and we would pick them right off the tree, and there is never enough. I think we also called them carambola.
    Oh, in the citrus list, there is navel orange, and king orange, and the tiny little orange colored mandarins, and the list goes on...
    Yesterday my son saw cocoa for the first time and got to pick a ripe pod off the tree. Today, we will be cutting it open and sharing the fruit pulp with his cousins. I plan to dry and roast the seeds and grind them with cinnamon to make some home made cocoa. Yummy on a rainy day.
    Would your list also fit coffee, by the way? We are known to have excellent coffee of the calibre of our cocoa.

  33. Anonymous said...
    May 5, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Can anyone give me some info on where I can find a Sycamore fig tree in Trinidad and Tobago? Please send me info to s_henry360@hotmail.com

  34. Anonymous said...
    May 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Not sure if this fruit was called by a different name but gula jamoon was a purple fruit shape like a plum and grew on a very big tree with lots of low branches so we we were able to pick those from the lower branches, very sweet when ripe. colour remained the same on the outside as well as the inside.
    Also condisiour(con di siour) a very sour fruit that was used in pickles and pepper sauce. Was it also called by a different name, it grew in bunches about 3 -4 inches long and yellow in colour. The only tree I ever saw was at our neighbour's.

  35. Anonymous said...
    May 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I'm a Trini living in Florida. I currently grow about 30 kinds of fruits on the list. Many of my plants have come from Trinidad. I'm still seeking some of the more obscure varieties like Balata and Tonka bean and hope to find them in Trini on eday.
    It's a pleasure to eat these fruit as we have sure a wide variety of fruits because of our wonderfully rich diversity.
    Much love to all

  36. Anonymous said...
    May 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I from Paramin too! Living in MA. Which Gail from paramin is your friend? Sure I know her, Anyhoo, I miss balata and soursop, really really. Still have a tonka bean seed from when I was a child, it still furry too.

 

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