In Trinidad and Tobago, it is common to find a market in each district of the country. The market is really an open area where a group of vendors sell their products such as meats, seafood, vegetables, ground provisions and fruits. These products may be grown by the vendors or some of them would purchase their goods from the wholesale market and then sell retail at the smaller markets. People prefer to shop at the market because the products are cheaper and fresher than if bought at supermarkets.
Most people shop at the market on Saturdays and Sundays, early in the mornings. So from about 6 o’clock to 11 o’clock in the morning, the markets are its busiest.Some vendors sell a variety of other products like canned products, toiletries, clothing and shoes, allowing their customer to be able to purchase everything they need at the market.
It is a joy now for me to visit these markets whenever I travel to Trinidad. I get so excited at seeing the things that I do not get the chance to see while in Tortola, BVI, that I purchase a lot of goods when I go to the market. Fresh chicken, pork, beef and fish are also sold fresh at the market, no frozen goods here. The fish is cleaned as per your request with no extra charge, I like that.
My mother goes to the market every weekend or every other weekend to purchase goods that you cannot buy in bulk. Items like ground provision, herbs, vegetables and fruits, cannot really be bought in large bulks, of course after a few weeks they would spoil.
I remember before my uncle died, my mother and uncle would go to the market, together, every weekend, shop and sit at a pub, chat and have a few alcoholic beverages. They looked forward to this quality time every weekend. When I go to the market, I see a lot of culture and tradition and it allows me to appreciate and love my country even more. As you walk through the market, there are a number of sheds with tables neatly packed of vegetables or meats. Vendors yell, advertising for customers to visit their sheds, Four tomatoes for 5 dollars, come and get it!! You smell the fresh fish as if they were just caught from the sea. The roads are packed with people hustling to get their goods.
Street foods are also sold at the market, for example Doubles. Doubles, the most popular street food found in Trinidad and Tobago consists of two fried flour based patties (bara) with curried chick peas aka channa. For most shoppers, after they are done shopping they have Doubles for breakfast. They form long lines to buy this traditional delicacy and eat them as they buy, some take it home. In addition to Doubles, Aloo pies are also sold, they are fried pies filled with tasty potatoes and sometimes chick peas.
The market is the main source of income for most farmers and fishermen. As stated before the market is also beneficial to most households as it is the most affordable and convenient and therefore has existed for many years and will continue to for years to come.