Bake And Shark Is Trinidad And Tobago's Most Iconic Fast-Food Sandwich | Superlatives

[sizzling] Customer: It's, like, soflavorful, and best of all, it reminds you of being in Trinidad, eating it on a beach.

But yet, you're gettingit right here in Queens.

Doyinsola Oladipo: We'reon the beach.

Just pretend.

Kamara Williams: Just pretend.

[laughs] Doyin: Wind in our hair.

Kamara: Yep.

Doyin: We don't smell New York anymore.

We're on a beach.

I'm Doyin, and I'm here with Kamara.

We are on our way to South Ozone Park.

She's taking me to try bake and shark for the very first time.

I'm so excited.

I'm so excited.

Kamara: Me too.

We're gonna go to TrincitiRoti Shop and Restaurant.

I grew up eating bake and shark, so it's always, like, a fun time to carry people to tryit for the first time.

And I can't wait for her to taste it, like, all the textures, all the sauces.

Doyin: Bake and shark, not bacon shark, is Trinidad and Tobago's most popular fast-food sandwich.

The breakfast food, streetfood, snack, and appetizer is popular all overthe dual-island nation, but was popularized as a beach food on Maracas Bay, a beach in Trinidad, by Richard's Bake and Shark.

Trinbagonian cuisine is a mixture of, to name a few, Amerindian, West African, Indian, Chinese, and European influences.

Amit Maheepat: It's so refreshing that people used to eat that— well, they still do — eat it at the beach.

Hands down, we got the best bake and shark, no doubt.

Here we get people fromBrooklyn, Long Island, all over New York.

Michael Persaud: Out of states.

Amit: We got people fromTrinidad coming here, and they got the actualbake and shark back home.

It took us, like, almost a whole decadeto perfect this recipe.

Michael: We have some ofthe greatest chefs here.

Amit: Sometimes we havepeople call in, like, during the week to place orders for Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

We sell, like, almost 1, 000 pounds.

Michael: Yeah, pretty much1, 000 pounds of shark.

Yeah.

Amit: A week.

Michael: That's a lot of shark.

Doyin: To make Trinciti's bake and shark, fresh shark is cleaned, skinned, seasoned, breaded, and deep fried.

[sizzling] The bake, or flatbread, is made by deep-fryingunleavened bread dough until the center puffs up and the outside is golden brown.

Trinbagonians typically top their food off with condiments, and bake and shark is no different.

Tamarind, mayo, honey mustard, garlic, pepper, and chadon beni are some of the sauces layered directly onto the shark.

Fresh cucumber, cabbage, coleslaw, tomato, and pineapple usually top it off.

Customer: I tasted ithere at Trinciti first, and then I had it in Trinidad as well, and it tastes better here, so.

.

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[laughs] Which is really surprising.

They build, like, a tower of stuff with pineapple, coleslaw, all different sauces.

It's really, really good, so I think everybody should try it.

Customer: Bake and shark is different.

The texture of the bake is nice and soft.

The shark is lean, but soft at the same time.

Customer: It's worth the trip to come into Queens, New York, to get the bake and shark.

Doyin: I'm so hungry.

Kamara: Me too.

Doyin: Let's do this.

Kamara: Finally.

Doyin: OK.

Do you wanna.

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? Kamara: You go first, since it's your first time.

Doyin: Me go first? Off of the first bite alone, I'm getting sweetness.

Kamara: Yes.

Doyin: I'm getting spiciness, Kamara: Yes.

Doyin: The shark is, like, the perfect canvas forall of these toppings.

It's crispy.

Kamara: Yep.

Doyin: It's juicy.

Hold on, let me take another bite.

Let me take another bite.

Kamara: Me too, me too.

See? I told you it wasn't too much, right? Doyin: This is so good.

Kamara: I'm so happy you like it.

Doyin: And who knew shark was so good? Kamara: It's just like, you know, regular fish.

You would never know.

Doyin: The way they breaded it is so good, so you're getting even a crunchiness.

Kamara: Mm-hmm.

Doyin: And then the bake, it's so fluffy.

There are so many things on here, right? Let's talk about the sauces alone.

Tamarind sauce, mayonnaise, honey mustard, a spicy sauce.

Kamara: Chadon beni.

Doyin: And chadon beni, which is a cilantro sauce? Kamara: Yeah.

Doyin: It's like, you can'ttaste the sauces separately.

They kind of all, like, merge.

Kamara: All in one.

It's like sweet and sour.

Doyin: To this perfect sauce.

And people eat this on the beach.

Kamara: Mm-hmm.

And the waves, and the sun.

Doyin: We're on the beach.

Just pretend.

Kamara: Just pretend.

[laughs] Doyin: Wind in our hair.

Kamara: Yep.

Doyin: We don't smell New York anymore.

We're on a beach.

We're on the beach.

Kamara: Exactly.

It's Carnival.

Doyin: Kamara, thank you so much for bringing me here to Trinciti.

Like, having bake andshark for the first time, I can't believe I've gone 23 years without eating this sandwich.

Thank you.

Kamara: You're welcome.

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