Retail therapy: what to buy & where to buy it
Cocoa & chocolate
T&T produces award-winning cocoa and chocolate. Think: Trinitario (used by French luxury chocolate manufacturer Valrhona), Cacique and Cocobel.
Foodie & spirited favourites
Pastelles, roti skins, seasonings, spices, sweets, fruit cakes, biscuits and crackers, pepper sauces, chutneys, curry powders, wines, amchar, even frozen and pre-cooked meat: these are the things Trinis (and Trini food/drink aficionados) load up their suitcases with on departure. Beers, award-winning local rums, and the world-famous Angostura Bitters are also popular.
Local music & films/DVDs
Steelpans are a popular take-away, from the miniatures available at souvenir shops to a full-fledged tenor pan (contact Pan Trinbago, pantrinbago.co.tt). At local music stores, you’ll find great steelband, calypso (both re-mastered vintage and new recordings), soca and chutney albums, plus a range of other locally produced music in a dizzying number of genres. There are annual compilations of the year’s most popular Carnival tunes, and often recordings of major Carnival and other competitions and events on DVD. Slowly but surely, local films and TV series are also making their way onto DVD.
Where to shop
There are five major shopping malls in Trinidad: The Falls at West Mall (Westmoorings) and Long Circular Mall (St James) just outside Port of Spain; Trincity Mall near Piarco airport; Grand Bazaar (Valsayn); and Gulf City (San Fernando). There are several smaller shopping plazas and mini-malls as well.
High street shopping happens in Trinidad’s major towns, including Frederick and Charlotte streets (Port of Spain); High Street (San Fernando); and Main Street (Chaguanas). Around Carnival time, the southeast side of the Savannah is transformed into a centre for local arts and crafts. At Emancipation time, it becomes a hub for African arts and culture.
Markets & trade fairs
The San Antonio Green Market in Santa Cruz (Saturday mornings) is a one-stop shop for just about everything fresh and local — produce, meats and fish, juices, signature local dishes, chocolate, home and personal care items, and much more, all in the context of a range of family-friendly activities. The monthly UpMarket is a monthly gathering of local artisans and their work at the Woodbrook Youth Centre in Port of Spain. Travelling trade fairs from India have become a regular event, offering great prices on Indian clothes, jewellery and more.
Did you know?
The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper was ranked as the world’s hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of Records.