Why Trinidadian Green Seasoning is the foundation of Trini cuisine

What is Trini Green Seasoning?

Trinidadian green seasoning has roots in the island’s blend of cultural influences, including African, Indian, Spanish, and Indigenous culinary traditions. It has become a staple in Trinidadian cuisine and still holds that title.

Cultural Influence

The creation of green seasoning is influenced by the various cultures brought to Trinidad by the British Empire. Enslaved Africans brought knowledge of herbs and spices, while Indian indentured laborers introduced their blends of seasonings. Spanish and Indigenous influences, as did the Chinese, also played a role in the evolution of this seasoning.

Main Components of Trini Green Seasoning

  1. Culantro (Cilantro)
    • Origin: Mexico and South America
    • Taste: Strong, pungent flavor
    • Availability in America: It is available in Latin and Asian grocery stores.
  2. Scallions (Green Onions)
    • Origin: Central Asia
    • Taste: Mild onion flavor
    • Availability in America: Widely available.
  3. Garlic
    • Origin: Central Asia
    • Taste: Pungent and spicy when raw, sweetens when cooked
    • Availability in America: Widely available.
  4. Thyme
    • Origin: Mediterranean
    • Taste: Earthy and slightly minty
    • Availability in America: Widely available.
  5. Scotch Bonnet Pepper
    • Origin: Caribbean
    • Taste: Very hot with a hint of sweetness
    • Availability in America: Available in specialty stores.
  6. Onion
    • Origin: Central Asia
    • Taste: Pungent when raw, sweetens when cooked
    • Availability in America: Widely available.

Regional Variations in Trinidad Green Seasoning

The exact blend and proportions of ingredients in green seasoning can vary by region and household in Trinidad, reflecting local tastes and available ingredients.

Using Trini Green Seasoning in Cooking

Green seasoning is used as a marinade for meats, poultry, and fish, added to stews, soups, and rice dishes, and as a flavor base in numerous Trinidadian dishes.

Global Use of “Green Seasoning”

Other Caribbean countries, such as Jamaica and Barbados, also use similar herb-based seasonings known as “green seasoning,” but the specific ingredients and proportions can vary.