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How do you like your Hops?

So, how do you like your hops? And no, this has nothing to do with beer…you do remember whose blog you’re visiting right? I know I haven’t posted in ages (despite the flurry of activity in January) but still, this is me, Chennette, the island-hopping Muslim, from Trinidad and Tobago!

In case you don’t remember my post from about three years ago, Hops is a type of bread in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s a fluffy on the inside, shattering-crust on the outside, ubiquitous roll that is a staple of Trini bakeries. A few weeks ago I came across a Tumblr post from Trini Like Salt, expressing his love for Hops and therefore French Bread. And it has had me thinking since then of the ways I eat hops. The classic childhood memory is of course picking up hot hops from the bakery on evenings (the parents always got an extra half-quart*) and pulling them from the brown paper bag, devouring the fluffy insides (shattering the thin crispy crust all over our school uniforms), and then savouring the yumminess of the crust. Ohhhh….

I have yet to master a wholewheat hops that shatters in quite the same way but I am getting there. I use Mom’s recipe, posted here by Lilandra. I know some people are probably purists who don’t like anything but white hops, but you know what, to each her own. I love the extra nutty taste of whole wheat.

Crix has been marketed as the Vital Supplies of T&T but hops bread could be also be given that nickname! I scoured my files and found some examples (from left to right) –

  • Hops and melted butter
  • Hops and cheese – good old new zealand cheddar
  • Hops and sardines (with pepper sauce, bandhania, onions etc) and cucumber
  • some fanciness – Hops and Eggplant Parmigiania!
Hops Bread - Fluffy insides Whole Wheat Hops and Cheese
Hops and Sardines Eggplant parmigiania and Trini Hops Bread

Some other Trini faves –

  • Bread and channa (hops filled with curried channa, like a non-fried doubles alternative)
  • Bread and chowmein – yup, chowmein (noodles and veggies) in bread is a popular schoolyard lunch I remember when my younger brother started school – but personally I never took to it

So, how do you like your Hops? Links to photos are welcome!


* Hops bread is sold by the quart, which used to be 12, then 10…

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13 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Ah you are young but in my day it was 16 hops for 25 cents and I was sent with the special white pillow case to buy the hops …. when I was at high school it was 13 hops for 25 cents……
    Hops and burgers do well , but nothing beats hot hops and condensed milk….

    1. trinimom on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:11 pm
  2. Bombscared Bar in Débé (‘Scared is the nickname of the owner) makes hops with curried pork, geera pork, stewed chicken, chowmein, smoked herrings, fried pork, fried chicken, curried chicken, curried channa… I might have forgotten some.

    His sandwiches are out of this world, worth a trip. I know oilfield workers who leave Guayaguayare to go buy his sandwiches. On Sunday mornings he has an amazing fish broth as well…

    Even after living in England for a decade, his is a ‘must-call’ stop when I visit… damn, I’m going next week, must remember to stop. :)

    2. Jumbie on May 24th, 2011 at 3:43 am
  3. Buttered, crusty hops with sardine, onion, tomato and hot pepper (not pepper sauce). I even like to eat crusty, freshly baked hops straight from the brown paper bag.

    4. aka_lol on May 25th, 2011 at 5:43 am
  4. GEEEZANAGES, I had a boyfriend that used to make me hops with sardine, onion, tomato and hot pepper. That comment above took me waaaay back!

    But whole wheat hops just doesn’t cut it at all. It’s ok with ham and ting -Sorry Chennette, that’s a non-halal statement :/

    But WHITE hops. Melty butter. Crunchiness on the outside, dreamy on the inside. Sigh. Now I’m homesick.

    5. Nan on May 25th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
  5. Mom I was going to put a price and then couldn’t remember the earliest price for a quart of hops that I would know…but it definitely would not be 16 for 25 cents!

    Jumbie clearly hops goes with everything!

    aka, Nan – my sardines probably were lacking onions, but pepper and fresh bandhania were definitely included. And Nan I know the best, the classic the most shattering-crust and fluffy hops is WHITE but still like a wholewheat…although not in most bakeries…and not that Kiss travesty!!

    6. Chennette on May 25th, 2011 at 4:58 pm
  6. Lol…perhaps when your brother was in Nursery school and it was around TT$3.00 for 12 and before Primary it went to 10 for $3.00……..

    7. trinimom on May 26th, 2011 at 12:43 pm
  7. Isn’t there a place in central where you can get hops and channa, or hops and chow mein, or hops and stew gizzard, or hops and chicken… or hops and all of the above? There used to be.

    8. Nan on May 26th, 2011 at 1:21 pm
  8. fresh and warm plain with butter!

    9. wizzythestick on May 26th, 2011 at 9:24 pm
  9. @ Nan, there is a place in Central – Charlieville, Caroni Savannah Road – that is famous for hops and anything. At least I think it’s still there. The name Nick’s is what comes to mind.

    10. aka_lol on May 29th, 2011 at 6:33 am
  10. Hot hops with cold leftover stuffing, straight out of the fridge.

    11. Ian on August 11th, 2011 at 1:46 pm
  11. I agree with Trinimom, nothing beats a hops and condensed milk!!!

    12. socamorti on January 20th, 2012 at 4:30 pm
  12. Hello was hops-bread brought from the Portuguese or the French?. I’m a trini that lives in NJ and there a bakery in the Iron Bound neighborhood (Portuguese) that makes a “Portuguese Roll” that you will swear its real hop-bread inside and out.

    13. Joel T on January 2nd, 2013 at 10:06 pm
  13. I don’t know, but it’s possible… sounds interesting!

    14. Chennette on January 2nd, 2013 at 11:42 pm

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  1. By Trinidad & Tobago: Hops Bread · Global Voices on May 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

    […] Lifespan of a Chennette asks: “How do you like your Hops?” Tweet […]

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