The sand here isn’t white, nor is the water clear blue, yet Trinidadians love coming to Maracas Bay. The sand is so fine it slips away under your feet.
Thanks to the tall palm trees and the sea breeze there is no shortage of shade and opportunities to cool down. Swimming is something else: due to
the nearly continuous wind the waves are taller than normal, adding to the fun for some. Yet, all of this is secondary to the main reason Trinis as
well as tourists love visiting Maracas Bay so much. The main attraction is bake & shark, a typical Trinidadian snack consisting of a bun with fried fish
– in this case the blacktip shark and the mako shark, two small types of sharks.
Behind the beach is a lineup of such food stands, but the most famous has to be the one owned by onetime lifeguard Richard Ferguson. Not only is
Richard’s Bake & Shark the tastiest, his has always been the trendsetter when it comes to this traditional snack. The term ‘bake’ refers to the bread
which isn’t prepared in the oven, but baked in oil. ‘Hot and fresh’ is the secret for a bun that’s not too greasy, but still soft. The seasoned fish is fried
in the same oil.
To add extra flavor, there is a counter with sauces and toppings outside. This sets Richard’s Bake & Shark apart from the rest. Under the lids you
will find shado beni (culantro), tamarind sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, wild garlic, pepper, mango chutney (or as they say in Trinidad: chutney
mango), red onions, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, avocado, pineapple and more… To then take the first bite of your ‘tower’ requires some
skills. A taste explosion is released, without overpowering the flavor of the fish itself. Maracas Bay is a forty-five minute drive away from Port of
Spain. The road winds itself up the mountain. Do take a break at the scenic overlook to enjoy the beautiful view of the bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Text & photos: Charles Chang
Translation: Roline Brahim-Tjen A Kwoei/Equivalence Translations
More information about Trinidad & Tobago is available on the website of the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Ltd.
Lots of useful information in the annual edition of Discover, published by MEP Publishers.
Surinam Airways Flight Schedule Paramaribo-Port of Spain (via Curacao)
Surinam Airways Flight Schedule Port of Spain-Paramaribo (via Curacao)