This pineapple chow recipe is made with simple, easy ingredients: pineapple, seasonings, salt, and pepper. It has so much contrasting flavor in it; you’ll find sweetness, spiciness and saltiness all together in one delicious bowl. Yum!
What is Chow?
Chow is a popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It has salt, pepper and fresh seasonings mixed with pieces of fruit or veggies or a combo of fruits and veggies.
Mango, pineapple, golden apple (pommecythere or June plum), Spanish lime (chenet) and governor’s plum are commonly used. But any fresh fruit in season works. And they can be sweet and ripe or slightly sour and under-ripe. It doesn’t matter. They are all delicious! As for veggies, cucumbers are the most popular for chow.
Chow is sold in small plastic bags by street vendors – even at the beach. You’ll also see it in small shops and at festivals too. It is a favorite, fresh snack you can grab on the go.
Pineapple chow is one of my favorites. I love the super sweet bursts among the salt and spice. Here’s a look at ingredients I often use:
Usually, I use an entire pineapple to make chow. It doesn’t last long in my home… By the end of the day, I’d be lucky to find a couple pieces to snack on.
I use culantro leaves from my garden (see what else is in my garden!).
Ever heard of culantro? It is sometimes called chadon beni, bhandhania, or long coriander; if that helps. It is a stronger, sharper version of cilantro. If you can’t find culantro, by all means, use cilantro in its place. It’s similar but milder.
Another wonderful substitute is Caribbean green seasoning. It’s made with culantro, cilantro, Mexican mint, garlic, and whatever else you can get your hands on.
Besides the fresh herbs, salt is a must! If your pineapple is super sweet, you can add a bit more salt to contrast the taste. And use less if your fruit is not as sweet.
Pepper is another favorite add-on. Any type of pepper will do. Brave souls use scotch bonnet peppers. Milder peppers like pimento (think it’s called datil), cayenne, and chili are my preferences.
Garlic is also used. I’m not a fan of its strong flavor in my pineapple chow; but you can mix in some grated garlic in your version.
As with everything related to Caribbean cuisine, there is no hard and fast rule for making chow. It’s all based on your preferences. Add in what’s available, what’s in season, whatever you want! I’ve seen strawberry chow too… Just saying… there are no rules here!
Pineapple Chow Recipe
- 1 pineapple
- 10 leaves culantro
- 10 leaves cilantro
- 3 chili peppers
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic (grated) (optional)
- Peel and cut pineapple into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Chop culantro and cilantro leaves.
- Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Chop the peppers.
- Mix everything together with salt.
- Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
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