Cousoumeh x Wa Na Wari
August 1st, 2022
(Planned as a once-monthly event)
Wa Na Wari, Seattle
Doubles – never in the singular - is one of the most beloved street foods of Trinidad & Tobago. They are best described as a type of fried flat bread and curried chickpea which some speculate is similar to that of North Indian, chole bhature. The curried chickpea, tucked between two pieces of fried flat bread called ‘bara,’ can be spicy, sweet or savory with hints of tart with condiments such as kuchela - (a type of green mango, hot relish), pepper sauce, cucumber or coconut chutney and bandhanyia (culantro, not to be confused with cilantro) blend. It is the comfort food of choice for many Trinidadians and makes up parts of the cultural tradition of the space, representing the cross cultural amalgam that is the Trinidadian society. It is loved by everyone including visitors, who often go on to sing its praises across social media platforms. It is such a beloved street food and critical part of Trinidadian culture that in 2012, the parliament of Trinidad and Tobago recessed for doubles during the longest session of 27 hours of continuous debate. As such, the coveted street food can be considered the poster child for the cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago, embodying a fusion of cultures that have called Trinidad & Tobago home.
The popular staple across Trinidad can be eaten at any time of the day, but it’s popularity shines through as a breakfast food, especially on Sunday mornings, and being a late-night favorite after a good, “lime” (“lime” or to lime (noun), is a term used in some Caribbean countries for ‘hanging out’). In understanding the relevance and cultural significance of this dish, Cousoumeh Collective decided it would be in the best interest of the Wa Na Wari community to share with them in this cultural exchange what a good ‘Trini lime’ that incorporates doubles and sorrel (a type of hibiscus drink) is. After successfully hosting this event in collaboration with the Wa Na Wari community, we conducted two doubles-making workshop sessions on the compound for people who were both eager to learn as well as those who wanted more of this dish. Additionally monthly sessions are hoped to be scheduled from October – December 2022 to build on this popularity and act of cultural convening.