The Hunt For The Red Solo

In Trinidad and Tobago, the roti or doubles is magically linked to the ‘Red Solo’. Truth be told, when I lived in Trinidad I didn’t appreciate the Red Solo as much as I do now, but since I was off in search of a good Trinidad roti as well as doubles, I ended up looking for a Red Solo wherever I went. In fact, I couldn’t even find a decent image of it so I linked the image at right to the source (go see it; other pictures are over there of TnT delicacies).

At the airport, eating the ‘Airport doubles’, it was not there. I tried my old favorite of roti shops, but it had closed and the roti at R&D Roti on Todd Street was a disappointment after so many years of S&D roti. Further – you guessed it – no Red Solo.

I was in South Oropouche, eating doubles – no Red Solo. In San Fernando at Anand Low Price (they sell pretty good food by the pound), at ‘D Kitchen’ – no Red Solo. Truth be told I could probably have gotten one at the Cask in Maraval (‘Jai’ has everything there!), but I didn’t ask there. I couldn’t find one on the way to Maracas. I couldn’t find one in La Romaine. I couldn’t find one in Mayaro.

There’s some kind of conspiracy here, keeping Red Solo away from my hands. One vendor offered that they sold out too fast… I stared at them, wondering how they would accept running out of a Trinidad staple.

They all offered me Cannings, or Buster, or what have you – and every time, in defeat, I drank those and heard soft encouragements such as, “this has less sugar anyway”. A country where they decided to open, of all things, a Cinnabon at the airport (without the smell, so… you run into it rather than find it with your nose)… in a country where one Uncle washed down his glucophage with Peanut Punch… they are worried about my sugar intake.

No. No, no, no. No.

Now I’m certain that if I dedicated time and energy, I would have found a Red Solo, just as I could have found a decent doubles (everyone I had was basically channa soup on two baras), or even a decent goat roti (who on earth says, “I want the goat bones in my roti, please?” NOBODY.) The point was I was busy merging other people’s schedules, wants and needs into my own and in all that time… to quote my late father….

I couldn’t get ONE kiss-meh-ass Red Solo.

So while people are worried about all sorts of politically motivated distractions, I can’t help but wonder at the lack of Red Solo. There are no substitutes when eating a good roti or good doubles – two things I could not find in my running around the island of Trinidad.


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