Friday, February 4, 2011

Chinese New Year, Trinidadian-Style with Ramin Ganeshram

Jean-Paul Vellotti for NPR
Chinese New Year started yesterday, and the festivities will continue for 15 more days (shouldn't everyone do that?). Sweet Hands author Ramin Ganeshram shares how to celebrate the lunar new year like a native Trinidadian with NPR!  Trinidad & Tobago usually brings to mind glossy travel photos of beaches and palm trees, or rum-infused Carnival partying, but the celebrations for Chinese New Year run a close second. Ganeshram notes that: 

"Chinese were first brought to the islands in the 19th century as indentured laborers on British colonial plantations. They soon became part of the general population of Africans, Indians, Europeans and Syrians. Their influence on the island's food was profound, perhaps because once they left indenture, Trinidad's Chinese often owned the island's grocery stores."

Now a part the multiethnic population, Ganeshram says "it's common to see Chinese New Year good luck symbols in retail centers in Trinidad, and parades, complete with dragon dances, are hosted by various Chinese associations islandwide." Of course, this intermingling made for great eats, and Ramin has adapted some of her recipes for you to enjoy, including Fried Wontons, Shay Shay Tien's Pow, Eight-Treasure Trini Chow Mein, Dasheen Pork, Five-Spice Rum Pork and Vegetables, Bitter Melon with Onion Seeds, and Chinese CakesSee the article for recipes!

No comments: