What are they?
I’m so glad you asked!
‘Doubles‘ are a popular savoury pastry, originating in Trinidad & Tobago. Tucked inside two flaps of soft yet supple fried flat bread called “bara,” are curry channa peas (chick or garbanzo peas) topped with delicious garnishes of spicy cucumber, tamarind chutney, and pepper sauce. Wooo-weee!
Wrapped in a pretty paper, then again with wax paper, before you get to the (ideally) warm bara and delicious filling.
If you get ‘doubles’ from a really generous doubles man or woman, the channa will be in a small river of sauces. Yummm! No plate of fork needed; it’s a napkins-only situation. I could eat ‘doubles’ and dahlpuri with butter all day e’ry day left unto myself. But – alas! I’d end up the size of a small orca whale, so moderation is key!
Growing up with a Trini mum has its culinary benefits, like: arepa with melted cheese fah breakfast, pholourie and vegetarian pastels fah de Christmas, and ‘doubles’, roti, pak choi, aloo pie, callaloo and kurma as often as possible. Yummerts!
A few years ago, Trini ‘doubles’ were introduced to Barbados. Known for fried fish stalls at Baxter’s Road (in town) and now more so Oistins (on the south coast), this curried vegetarian finger food has slowly but surely established a place in the tummies of many.
Not only are they extremely affordable – between Bds.$3.50 – $4.00 (a few bucks more than in T&T), they’re kept warm, and are tasty and filling. It’s now customary to see a small line of patient patrons assembling for ‘doubles’ during lunch breaks, supermarket stops, bank errands, and road trips.
You’re likely to see someone dressed in a fancy suit, someone gliding in on a skateboard, and someone balancing two children lining up for this culinary delight. ‘Doubles’ fans come from all walks of life, street food or no street food. When it’s good, it’s good!
When it comes to ‘doubles’ and roti, I can be a bit tough where authenticity in flavour and ingredients are concerned, but I enjoy them so much still, and remember not to compare but to appreciate.
In Trinidad, ‘doubles’ stands are in abundance from morning til morning in some areas. From the moment you land at the airport, on the outside, ‘doubles’ stands are literally around the corner. It’s expected that you’ll eat at least one ‘doubles’ while waiting for your full order to be completed. They’re that delicious! No one’ll judge you for snarfing down a sample while you wait.
Where to find ‘doubles’ in Barbados:
Christ Church: Rendezvous Main Road, Quayside Mall
St. Michael: Wildey Main Road
St. Philip: Six Roads car park opposite the gas station
St. James (ish): Warrens carpark behind the gas station
Trini ‘doubles’ – in Barbados!