How Trini are you?

My Grandmother used to own a store in Valpark Shopping Plaza in Valsayn. So for years (between the ages of 7-12 I should think), my summers consisted of running around the plaza trying to sell bazooka joe gum and dinner mints to people for .25 cents (can’t exactly remember why lol – guess my entrepreneurial spirit was in me from young!), doing cartwheels in Donut Boys for a free donut (I wonder if I would still get the same treatment ;)), and playing on the monkey bars at Mario’s Pizza.

All of this to say, I remember thinking it was so bizarre how my Trini friends used to put ketchup all over their pizza! I was reminded of this the other day when my colleagues ordered pizza for lunch. And with it came two large ‘containers’ of ketchup..

Trinis love Ketchup

My colleague putting ketchup on his pizza.. Now that's serious..

Well, I did some research on it..and it turns out that putting ketchup (not just any ketchup though,,but Mabel’s/Matouk’s ketchup) on pizza (and almost everything else – rice, pelau, bake and shark, pastelles..etc etc) is very march part of being a true Trini! So much so that if you don’t do it,, you must not be Trini!

Mabel's Ketchup Trinidad

Local Trinidadian's sweet taste is what distinguishes it from other 'more acidic' ketchups.. lol. yeah.

Trinis put ketchup on everything

The Trini Test


Trinis put ketchup on everything

One Trini recalls what she misses about Trinidad..


Trinis put ketchup on everything

From a Trinidadian travel guide


Trinis put ketchup on everything

One of Outlish Magazine's 8 ways to spot a Trini


So, do you put ketchup on your pizza?

And if you do, can you explain to me why you do it? Does anyone know how this became a popular practice in Trinidad? Please, do share. 😉


Filed under Life in Trinidad

11 responses to “How Trini are you?

  1. Rob

    Yuck. I’m a Trini, but I just… ah mean… ah cyah make. Ketchup + hot dogs = good. Ketchup + pizza = Inhumane. I doh even like Diabetes Ketchup, err, I mean, Matouk’s.

  2. Sandra Scott Farah

    I agree with Rob. I’m a true Trini, but never got the ketchup thing. On the other hand, pepper sauce I do use quite a lot, including on Spaghetti and Meatsauce and Lazagna (although not on pizza), so the Italians might have a hard time understanding that as well. As a child I even used to put it on oranges!!! Don’t think I could stomach that now though … I must be getting old:-(

  3. If ketchup on pizza wasn’t bad enough, the same Trinis ask for ketchup in Chinese resturants. The only thing -food, I imagine- Trinis don’t put ketchup on is roti.

  4. well fuh me is according to what kinda pizza. no ketchup on a pizza hut, domino’s or a papa john’s pizza. ketchup on a mario’s, especially if it has pineapples and hamburger meat. ketchup on a joe’s pizza. ketchup on chinese food is madness!! dat jus crazy!! ketchup on fried chicken is according. KFC early hours of the morning after a night out is ketchup and mustard to soup like proportions. KFC lunch time, no ketchup. subway meat subs… ketchup if they don’t already have a sauce. subway tuna sub, seafood sub etc, no ketchup. pelau, ketchup if it not tastin good and yuh really hungry and tryin hard to eat it. if it tastin good, no ketchup. iz a vibes!!

  5. Kevin

    I do put Ketchup,Mustard and pepper sauce on my pizza loll because it taste really Trinidad ketchup is the best ketchup in the world IMO

  6. i am a trini after all ??!! 😛
    i love the taste of the ketchup on the pizza or well if there is some hot sauce would be much better
    it give it a taste
    i just love it

  7. We do that in Lebanon too! 😀 I always add ketchup to pizza!

  8. I’ve never been to Trinidad but I guess I’m kinda Trini when it comes to pizza..

  9. ayouna

    This is such a lebanese thing to do lol putting ketchup on pizza. i guess it gives it a kick. i like ketchup on lasagna 😀

  10. Mirko

    I was in Trinidad this year, and I was really astonished what the trinis do to their pizza 🙂 Not only that they squeeze ketchup out of a big container onto their Mario’s pizza, which is very good as it is (from my opinion), they put also mayonaise, mustard, AND hot sauce out of the next big containers onto the dish. Everybody! Very strange. I think a simple standard pizza would be sufficient, and the sauce containers. Bon appetit! Greetings Mirko

  11. We trinis are all about taste, and anything wr can do to enhance the taste of something, even if it seems sacrilegious to others, we’ll do to satisfy our multicultural tastebuds. Bland food doesn’t cut it here. Ketchup has what fsoodies cal “umami” or savory, it enhances the taste and flavors of whatever it’s applied to. So for those who ate shocked, try pizza without, then with ketchup and be surprised at the difference!

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