NYU Caribana

Plate #1
Last week, we attended a fundraiser/dinner/dance/oontz oontz party for a charitable club that we are part of at NYU. The event, Caribana, mainly celebrated Caribbean culture, and the charities contributed money to benefiting developing countries, particularly those in the Caribbean and South America (Haiti and Guyana, respectively). We volunteered to take photographs for them, and I thought the food was great and notable enough to blog about!

Plate #2

The menu was almost foreign, except for a few recognizable things like chow mein and fruit salad. Most of it sounded like traditional Caribbean food. We were hovering around the food station and everything smelled delicious.  I had a plate full of roti, black rice and peas, poule en sauce (chicken in sauce? pardon my Haitian/French), and salad.  Alex had "doubles", chow mein, and Guyanese chicken.  Everything was very tasty, but most memorable were the poule en sauce and "doubles".

Boom Chicky Boom
Poule en sauce consisted of chicken drumsticks soaking in this red sauce.  It reminded me a lot of barbecue sauce that I have at family barbecues.  In that sense, it wasn't that far a departure from food I'm familiar with...or I have been eating Haitian food all this time and didn't know it.  The chicken was tender and the sauce was finger-licking good.

Then, the other highlight of dinner were the "doubles" (someone help me: is it really pluralized?  this is bothering my inner grammar freak).  A "doubles" is a chickpea mash sandwiched between two pieces of flatbread.  It is a very popular street food from Trinidad and Tobago.  
One plus One equals....
From the description, I wouldn't really think it would taste delicious...but they were so good that I snuck into the food station room when people were oontz oontz dancing and ate another double...doubles...doubleses. The bread is hamburger-bun-sized, white, almost cakey, and kind of greasy.  The chickpea mash inside has some curry flavoring to it, and at times, some bites revealed entire chickpeas hiding in the mash.  Apparently they are even better when paired with chutney or other sauces, but we had them plain and already I was won over.  

Ohhhhhhhhhhh who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

It was really exciting for me to have a foodgasm from eating what I knew to be authentic, traditional food.  I overheard a few girls talking about getting good doubles for a dollar in Brooklyn and I felt the buzz of a long overdue foodventure. After Caribana, there was a tray with a few doubles left over and I was seriously contemplating how to carry it home on the subway...and now I kind of regret that I didn't do it. Someone bring me a double/multiple doubles!!


  1. Hey guys! Yes indeed, it's called doubles. Story has it that "Trini-bagos" apparently ate the chickpea mash on a single flatbread until a genius (forgot the name, sorry!) came along a decided to slab the mash between two pieces of flatbread. He thought it was easier (aka less messy) to eat! And boy way he right!! He coined his creation "doubles" and since then it has been an iconic dish of Trinidad and Tobago!

  2. If you like doubles, you should try panelle. It's a Sicilian dish. They are thin, fried patties made of chickpea flour. If you get a panelle special, they put the panelle on a sesame roll with ricotta and parmasean cheese. Then they put it under the broiler to melt the cheese a bit. You can find it in a foccacciaria. There Gino's on 72nd Street and 18th Avenue. There is also one on Columbia Street in Carroll Gardens.


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