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Fresh Carite!


Does that sound familiar? One of the benefits of living on an island is the availability of fresh fish. In Trinidad and Tobago, even if you live 10 minutes from the coast and a fish market, the fresh fish will come to you, straight from the sea. Fish is sold from vans which go through our village, very often driven by the fisherman himself. Fish vans come equipped with a loudspeaker set up, so that they can announce themselves, and more importantly, their offerings for the morning. So, some mornings, the loud sing-song of the fish-van might very well declare that “Carite, Fry-Dry, Cro-Cro and big big Shrimp” are available. Other mornings, you might hear “Fresh Cro-Cro, Salmon, Red-Fish” etc. Always sung loudly!

I don’t know if the fish van system works in other islands in the Caribbean, but it is a daily feature of life in our part of the world. We’re close enough to several fishing areas on the Central West Coast of Trinidad to be assured that the fish really is fresh. Of course, vans going through the villages and towns selling things is a typical T&T practice.

Raw Carite (fish)

You remember, of course, that we get hot bread and pastries from our Bread Vans. And we have market vans too, selling produce. Many of the original Syrian immigrants to T&T (like my grandfather) made a good living going all over the country selling cloth. Just yesterday, the parents were approached by Venenzuelans selling household wares out of a vehicle going along our road.

The fish we bought today, was Carite. One of my favourite fishes, which is lovely when hot from the oil. It was bought this morning, seasoned up (green seasoning etc) and left to marinate until just before we broke fast at sunset. Carite is Cero Mackerel or Scomberomorus regalis and is found exclusively in the Western Atlantic Ocean and part of the Caribbean Sea. I posted some photos of the fish when raw, and with the head and tail. Those parts are premium cuts for some people…me, I stick to the flesh.

Small shrimp, fried


It is white when cooked, moist and a bit sweet. Lovely fried, or curried. Carite seems to be the Spanish name, although we pronounce it “CAA-REET”. Today, we ate it with fried rice and a potato salad, but it is equally good with rice and dhal. The fish was coated in cornmeal and flour, and deep-fried to golden-brown. So very good.

Also from the fish van today, small sweet shrimp. Took Mom ages to clean, but they were good. Same cornmeal and flour coating, then deep fried.

And, it’s more than halfway over, but Ramadan Mubarak! I am sure I’ll at least post again around Eid ul Fitr, but obviously I make no promises otherwise…

Your once-a-year blogger,


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