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About Chennette

Chennet(te), the FruitI am a Trini currently living and working in Guyana, with the good fortune of being able to hop around some of the beautiful places in the Caribbean, all the while learning how to use my camera.

This blog started off as just an extension of my Flickr photos, and then I started writing actual posts which morphed into a mostly food blog.

Who knows what’s next.

For all those who wonder about the name of the blog…well I gave that answer at the TriniGourmet when she did a virtual interview :-) which I shall reproduce here:

“People wondering about my name? Years ago, when I was signing up for a free webmail, my own name was taken. So I decided I wanted something Trini. Not sure how I settled on chennet, but maybe it was in season. Couldn’t miss it if it was, since the neighbours across the road used to have a biiig tree that filled up the view from my bedroom window.

And that’s the answer to that big mystery D

And as for the “Lifespan of a Chennette”, well, I didn’t know what the blog was going to be about. Sister the younger, Lilandra pushed me into the blogosphere without my having a plan. But I knew it would have to be about me, about my life, about my travels…something. So Lifespan of a Chennette seemed to reflect that idea accurately, especially when a poem by one of my favourite authors popped immediately into my head (note I said “author” and not “poet”). I used to have this little poem on my blog just under the title, although I don’t think it would have made sense to many anyway ;-):

Fruit Fly by Gavin Gunhold

Due to the tragically short life span of the average fruit fly,
College is not really an option.
Caps and gowns don’t come in that size anyway.

(from A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag by Gordon Korman)

And for more information on me, here are some links to posts that give some more knowledge about me as a foodie mostly:

* Nyam#1: Lifespan of a Chennette (from the TriniGourmet)

* Weird Food Facts About Me

* Answers to Questions – Hmmm’s Questions!

* A Collection of Thoughts (my thoughts on blogging back in January 2007)

* 8 Things About Me (not food related)

* Interview with Lifespan of a Chennette (at Amazing Trinidad Vacations)

[Edited: 29 October 2009]

38 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Hi Chennette,
    I hope that you are in good health.
    I am a Trini who’s married to a Guyanese by the way. Not that it’s ground breaking news but just thought I’d mention it.

    I was wondering if during your travels you managed to get the recipe for maleeda. It’s a sweet made for muslim religious ceremonies. It is apparently made from paratha and contains raisins and other spices. I’ve been searching far and wide for the recipe but can’t find it anywhere.

    1. Shamilla on November 4th, 2006 at 11:52 pm
  2. Hi Shamilla. Do you live in Guyana or T&T (or outside)? I can actually give a recipe for maleeda. My grandfather use to make this – about the only thing he probably could make; even my grandmother made the actual paratha. Hang on a few days and I’ll get it from my mother.

    2. chennette on November 5th, 2006 at 2:12 am
  3. Hi Chennette, my name is Theresa and i remember eating this as a little girl growing up in Trinidad. I have been searching High and low for a recipe. Would love to reminisce about growing and would love to introduce this to my son. Please help and email me as quickly and conveniently as you can! MUCH THANKS…. Desperate Trini in NYC

    3. Theresa Ali on November 30th, 2006 at 6:18 pm
  4. Hi Theresa – ok I am home again with my mother. Tonight I shall post a recipe. For sure. And email you 😉 Do you know how to make the paratha/buss-up-shut? or should I include those instructions?

    4. chennette on November 30th, 2006 at 6:41 pm
  5. hey chennette i wanna use one of your flikr photos in my post tomorrow. will credit you of course :) may i 😕 its this one … http://www.flickr.com/photos/chennette/227709819/

    5. The TriniGourmet on December 8th, 2006 at 6:00 pm
  6. Hello chennette, good to see bloggers from the caribbean. keep up the good work.

    6. Jamaican blogger on January 10th, 2007 at 11:58 am
  7. Ooo!! A Jamaican!

    7. Lilandra on January 10th, 2007 at 5:16 pm
  8. Thanks for visiting :-) Jamaican blogger

    8. chennette on January 11th, 2007 at 1:13 am
  9. Hi Chennette,
    My name is Aleisha and I live in Florida with my husband. I come from an east indian home and love to make the curries and other dishes for my husband. He love the aloo pies and phoulourie. Have not tried the sweet stuff on him yet. I was wondering if you have a recipie for beef pie. I have one for currants roll but none for the beef pie. Can you help me find one?

    9. Aleisha on March 1st, 2007 at 2:21 pm
  10. Hi Aleisha – your post got caught by spam and I missed it – sorry. I will look around for a beef pie recipe, or give you on I’d use. You mean the flaky pastry baked beef pies right? Not the fried, almost aloo-pie beef pie?

    10. chennette on March 2nd, 2007 at 5:40 pm
  11. Hey Chennette,

    Thanks for stopping by my site! You’re absolutely right about these wacky Californians and their inability to dress weather-appropriate!

    As it turns out, one of my best friends is Guyanese! An old college roomate who I adore. Good times!

    Hope you’re liking it over there.



    11. DScoTTGRRL on April 18th, 2007 at 7:22 pm
  12. Hi Danielle and welcome. Still in Barbados for now, but back to Guyana in a few weeks.

    12. chennette on April 18th, 2007 at 11:54 pm
  13. Hi Chennette,

    Just wondering if the images you have posted can be used for commercial use. I work in advertising and I must admit it is very difficult to get good images of indo-trini food unless we hire photographer.

    Can you let me know what your requirements are for using your photos.


    13. Christa on April 24th, 2007 at 9:45 am
  14. Dear Sirs:

    We would like to request that you change your records to reflect our hotel from ‘Coblentz Inn’ to ‘Coblentz Inn Boutique Hotel’.


    Candace Wenzelmann
    Assistant Manager
    Coblentz Inn Limited
    44 Coblentz Avenue
    Tel: (868) 621-0541-4
    Fax: (868) 624-7566

    14. Candace on August 21st, 2007 at 12:29 pm
  15. ha ha ha
    I read your blog but didn’t read about you. It’s imaging. Your flickr is quit different and love it.

    Which country from you are? Would you please tell me? From Jamaica

    Why you stop blogging? startup and waiting to read your blog.

    Best Wishes

    15. Sakib Al Mahmud on October 18th, 2007 at 7:03 am
  16. I am from Trinidad and Tobago. But currently live in Guyana, mostly. Will blog about Eid by tonight then back to regular blogging too!

    16. chennette on October 18th, 2007 at 9:01 am
  17. Visit us at http://www.search.co.tt

    this comment looks suspiciously like a plain old advertisement, but I am allowing it…

    17. Nigel Mahabir on November 13th, 2007 at 2:02 pm
  18. I was just going through your blog and as funny as it seems you seem to talk about every Trini food/fruit but chennette itself. Sup with that? The word itself brings fond memories from raiding the neighbor’s tree at night and having to endure simultaneously whilst sucking the sweet chennette some serious mosquito bites, to that fact that the only people I know used to sell chennette were sprangers and it was always ‘dollah ah bunch.’ In fact one brother told me chennette comes from the Arabic word for grapes. Heard that before? So what is your story with chennette besides it being a big tree in your neighbors yard blocking your scenic view?

    19. umar on July 16th, 2008 at 1:03 pm
  19. yes, I know someone would catch me out on that one day. what can I say? the neighbours haven’t had the tree in years, but Chennette just became my online identity so long ago. And when I started this blog (2 years ago) I knew I should post on the fruit itself rather than the sobriquet…but while I have had some chennet in Guyana, there were these really small ones that I didn’t photograph and in Trinidad recently, I couldn’t bring myself to buy at the couple intersections from the possible sprangers…but I saw a vendor here in Guyana with some decent looking ones, so I will make an attempt.
    sigh. diligent readers…

    20. Chennette on July 16th, 2008 at 4:38 pm
  20. Hi Chennette. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I am checking out yours now:) It is great to get to know more about the culture and cuisine of another beautiful Caribbean country. I just subscribed to your blog to be updated on your posts. Keep up the good work! Cheers from my kitchen:)

    21. farida on July 21st, 2008 at 12:20 pm
  21. thanks for visiting Farida 😀

    22. Chennette on July 21st, 2008 at 12:57 pm
  22. Hi Chennette i really like your pictures..i just wished that i could use some of them for my book. let me know..chef in london.

    24. brian danclair on February 9th, 2010 at 6:17 pm
  23. Hi Chenette
    I am a Guyanese, my grandmother told us that her family were Syrian, but as we didn’t know of any other Syrians in Guyana, I guess we took it with a grain of salt and thought that we were just part of the Indian indentureship story. Now I realise that she might have been telling us the truth, she mentioned that her family had landed in Barbados from Syria then moved to Guyana. They were a family of goldsmiths. I would welcome any info you have on tracing the Syrian immigration to the Caribbean.

    25. EK on September 6th, 2010 at 7:25 pm
  24. HI EK – well Syrians and Lebanese came to the Caribbean at the end of the 1800s/early 1900s. This link gives you some history and other readings with respect to the arrival in Trinidad http://www2.nalis.gov.tt/Research/SubjectGuide/SyrianLebaneseinTrinidadandTobago/tabid/283/Default.aspx which might help to get an idea about arrival in other countries. Some of my grandfather’s family actually went to South America – Brazil or Venezuela before he ever came to Trinidad.
    I know they went to Barbados and Jamaica also – it’s entirely possible that someone from there moved to Guyana, especially if they were goldsmiths – goldsmiths of other heritage must have moved to Guyana for the mining resources!

    26. Chennette on September 6th, 2010 at 8:44 pm
  25. Nalis info is not complete as under religion no mention is made of Syrians who were Muslims and their descendants still being so. Nalis report is as if only Christians came to the West. My father’s eldest brother went to Brazil and the second came to Trinidad. They left Annazi from the city of Tartous, Syria before World War I, my father came before World War II directly to Trinidad. His second brother however preferred to live in Tobago. There are many relatives in Brazil from my father’s eldest brother.
    The Syrians who were Muslims lived mostly in the Muslim populated areas of North Trinidad like San Juan, St James and some in the St Joseph /Tunapuna area. They went to those Masjids in the areas where they lived. Many of them were well versed in Islam having studied at the special Madrasahs for budding Imams in Syria. My father was one of such persons and he was the Imam of his village Masjid before coming to Trinidad to look for his brothers and he stayed back…lol

    27. trinimom on September 7th, 2010 at 9:00 am
  26. WoW I must say I stumbled on your site just this morning and I must say you certainly have alot of interesting information. I am a Trini muslim now working and living in Tobago, mind you the practices here are most certainly different from Trinidad but nevertheless, peaceful at times. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us all… Have a great weekend Eid Mubarak!

    28. Riza on September 9th, 2010 at 12:36 pm
  27. assalamu ‘alaikum Riza and welcome :-) I am currently looking at celebrating Eid in Montego Bay, so maybe I’ll post on that! And then I come home to Trinidad! Eid Mubarak to you too – do Tobagonians manage a unified Eid Ga? Eid salaah near one of those beaches would be great :-)

    29. Chennette on September 9th, 2010 at 12:39 pm
  28. Hey Chennette,
    Is that guinep I see there in the top picture…Man I can eat guinep all day long.

    They sell some nice sweet tasting ones in Riddley road market in London, however they are quite pricey and they only have them at certain times as they are seasonal.

    Lovely pic :-)

    30. Sherene on December 6th, 2010 at 6:56 am
  29. Hi Sherene – that is indeed guinep, except we call it chennet in Trinidad, hence my name :-)

    31. Chennette on December 6th, 2010 at 9:46 am
  30. It has been almost two years since I’ve tasted Trini food. I’m so gonna live vicariously through your blog.

    32. Linda on February 28th, 2011 at 11:03 pm
  31. whats the botanical name for chennette,since all around the caribbean it’s called different names

    33. willis on October 1st, 2011 at 12:35 pm
  32. chennette is Melicoccus bijugatus – I posted about it here

    34. Chennette on October 7th, 2011 at 9:54 pm
  33. Hello Chennette,
    Cool website. It’s interesting hearing about the Syrians on your site. I’m of guyanese background and my grandfather was also Syrian. It seems like I know so much about Indians, Africans, Portuguese, Chinese and know nothing about the Syrians. I’ve learned that there used to be lots of Syrians in Guyana at one time who were merchants to Guyana and were very good at commerce, but may have moved on for bigger markets, maybe such as Brazil and other places.

    35. Fizal on January 28th, 2012 at 5:02 pm
  34. What about Currystew. I heard that Trinis make Currystew.

    Me and my cousins roll on the floor when we heard this.

    We know it as one or the other and they never combine

    36. Paul on January 30th, 2012 at 1:59 pm
  35. What can I say…Trinis aren’t limited in their view of food and cooking methods :)

    37. Chennette on January 30th, 2012 at 7:59 pm
  36. hello Chennette,
    My name is MR.Kashma Khan, and I am the curator of the Asja Archives and Museum. Is it possible to use some pics and info from time to time from your site ONLY for display and educational purposes?. Also I am working with the committee doing the Indian Arrival Re-enactment on Nelson Island next weekend and also Asja indian arrival celebration where we are mounting exhibitions. Can I use some of the material for these as well? I assure you that no commercial gains will be made from these.

    Thank you . hoping for early response

    38. kashma khan on May 17th, 2013 at 12:56 am
  37. Hi Chennette,

    Trying to surprise my mum with her Guyanase black cake .. thanks for the recipe .. not sure that your blog is still up and running it will be a shame if you have stopped, being guyanase heredity living in North London it is nice to read about guyana x fatima

    39. fatima on December 24th, 2014 at 7:40 am
  38. I stumbled upon your site by accident and I couuld not stop reading.
    I’m a trini married to a Guyanese and living in Florida. I do try and make trini food from time to time especially around the various holidays. The name Chennette certainly brings back memories. It’s called a different name here in Florida by the hispanic population.
    Keep up the good work , and do you have a good recipe for a true trini sponge cake? My mom back in her days made a great one.
    Looking forward to your response.

    40. Ingrid on June 5th, 2016 at 9:24 am

2 Trackbacks

  1. By   Gavin Gunhold — Lifespan of a Chennette on June 23, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    […] About Chennette […]

  2. By   Caribbean Fruits — Lifespan of a Chennette on August 14, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    […] month ago that Umar, a regular reader and commenter, made his way though my posts and called me on this glaring omission. So, here it is. Finally. Lifespan of a Chennette is pleased, for the first time, to showcase the […]

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