Trying to capture the essence of true Trinidad and Tobago culture and cuisine is going to be a challenge. Seizing a moment; any given time, a snapshot of what its like to be here-now and transposing the real everyday wonders and miraculous nothings. I will forever endeavor to do it justice.
|Saltfish Buljol Trinidad Style|
In Trinidad and Tobago, when someone offers you Saltfish, or you see it on a menu it means a Buljol of Salted Fish. I have seen a number of meanings for the word Buljol, but from my experience of Caribbean Fusion expect the meal to be prepared almost like a salad with sea food as the base. Usually a fleshy fish is used (though I have had it with squid), it is cooked and chopped finely or flaked, mixed together with chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes, tossed in olive oil and fresh lime or lemon juice and served at room temperature. Buljol recipes using salted fish, all over the Caribbean are really not that different, their variations are subtle; adding hot peppers, sweet peppers, chives or avocado.
To me these are all things you can add to the base recipe if that’s your preference, and if you are purchasing it prepared from a restaurant in Trinidad, you ain’t getting avocado in it (expensive and popular item) nor are they lacing the whole public offering with hot Scotch Bonnet Peppers (the local flamer measuring 100,000-350,000 on the Scoville Scale).
Trini Saltfish Buljol is made from either salted Pollock or Shark. In earlier years Cod was used until the Atlantic Cod population began to decline and its price skyrocketed. You can buy salted fish here at any grocery, established market or any self respecting neighborhood shop (we call them parlours). Easy to prepare and enjoy any time, it is considered a breakfast item and accompanied by your choice of a variety of bread like sides.
|Saltfish being prepared (boiled & flaked)|
Plan to eat this when you don’t have to make out with anyone soon after, but do plan.
|Saltfish Buljol and Garlic Nann (w/red pimento)|