Hi, glad you stopped by.
I am Melissa Roberts and this is my blog.

Why is your site called Belly in Hand?
Belly in Hand is a Trinidadian phrase with several meanings, most commonly used to describe a feeling of “extreme hunger.”
As a name for my blog it is perfect (I believe), capturing my blog’s purpose; a hunger for Trini food finds and a thirst for great places to share meals (virtually) and experiences.

Who takes the photos on your blog?
I do, except where noted.
What kind of camera do you use?
A Canon PowerShot digital (SD40). It is compact, sexy and fits in most of my bags with space for my Blackberry, vexed money and keys.
Can I use one of your photos on my site or magazine?
All contents of this site (words, graphic illustrations and photos) are protected by copyright. Express permission must be granted for any use of content including my photos. Kindly do the right thing and request permission.
Who designed your site?
I did, with help and advice from my talented Webmaster husband. Its still very much a work in progress.


Where is Trinidad and Tobago and what is it like?

One of the most beautiful places on earth because of its people and location. With a heritage enriched from invasion, slavery, indentureship, colonization and industrialization, we are evolving. The most southernly islands of the Caribbean, we are rich in oil and emerging from agriculture based industry to embrace technology. Our people are called cosmopolitan, our women are touted the most beautiful and our general disposition is one of “party on” (a blessing and a curse). We are influenced heavily by the US (US military bases were part of our recent history) and we are not without our issues. There is much to do, see and taste here. Tobago (the smaller of the two islands) is the quintessential tropical getaway while Trinidad is an emerging industrialized commercial hub. Our people are descendants of Amerindians (natives), Spanish and French (invader/rulers), Africans (slaves), East Indian and Chinese (indentured laborers), British (colonizers) and Syrian and Lebanese migrants.

I am traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, would you recommend a restaurant?

Over time I will list the best restaurants and the best street food in Trinidad and Tobago that I have had and give my opinion why i liked it. It will however be my opinion, so take it with a "pinch of salt" (as they say). Feel free to check the site regularly for the growing list and latest updates. The Trinidad Food culture is constantly evolving.

Are you Professionally Trained in Cooking?
No. I learned the fundamentals early from my Mother a great West Indian Cook and Caterer, and read cook books like novels (still do). I have tried many, and am still trying my hand at recipes (authentic Caribbean or West Indian Cuisine and all others) an exercise I deeply enjoy. My travels and friends have helped open my mind and palate and the learning continues.
Working on being a professional eater though :-)

Contact: info@bellyinhand.com


Anonymous said...

I find your website to be very useful. Your recommendations on the Saltfish preparation were excellent. Keep up the great work!!!

~Melissa said...

Thank you. There is much more to come as there is so much to eat and see here. I hope you visit again and please tell me if there is a dish of interest you would like info on.

Crystal Ice said...

Nice job here! Now I feel hungry... lol :D

~Melissa said...

Thanks Crystal Ice (Cool name..) :-)
Visit again, lots more to come.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa
I just recently came across your blog and I can see that you have a great knowledge about local food.
I would like to visit Trinidad and sample the local flavours, however I have a severe dairy allergy. What foods should I stay away from?
I'm not a fussy eater so would like to try everything. Do Trinidadians cook with alot of butter, cream etc?
Thank you.

~Melissa said...


Sorry to hear of your allergy.
We do have the Creole elements in our cooking so some cream and/or butter may be used in sauces or to finish dishes. Roti and Paratha (East Indian Cuisine) should definitely be off your list, these are made with Ghee (clarified Butter) and may affect you. There still remains many great things to try here on your visit, but I am sure your usual precaution of asking about ingredients prior to purchase will guide you well. We are friendly.

Hope to see you soon. :-)

Chris said...

Love what you're doing here and on FB fan page. Keep up the great work showcasing our rich culinary culture.