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“Mr. Salt fish!”
Long time, salted fish (or as we say, salt fish) was something that was sold cheaply and often augmented the typical Trinbagonian diet of provision and vegetables. Drying and salting, either with dry salt or brine, was the only widely available method of preserving fish for centuries, and over time, its stock has risen from being considered “poor people food” to a valuable main dish. In fact, we jokingly refer to it as “Mr. Salt fish”, because of the high prices attached. Still, we can’t help but appreciate the finer qualities of a good, thick piece of salted cod, Pollock or shark. Interestingly, it is not made here, but imported from other countries. Still, nearly every Caribbean island has its own preferred treatment for it and Trinidad and Tobago is no different. We roast it, boil it, stew it and fry it. It’s shown up in main dishes, snacks and pies. Some may scoff at it, but that is their choice. I choose to celebrate and enjoy my salt fish and sing along with the Mighty Sparrow’s famous tune of the same name as I share two easy salt fish recipes for accras and buljol. So sing it with me now “Salt fish It sweeter than meat, When is time to eat, baby... all salt fish sweet!” Happy cooking!
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