A Good Friday Special

Bakes and saltfish
Bakes and saltfish

Bakes and saltfish [codfish] meticulously prepared by my mother, is a Good Friday meal dating back generations, and is still an amazing delicacy today. Originally it began as a meal with families who couldn’t afford to buy fresh fish, and hot cross buns — another Good Friday treat.
It was more cost efficient back then to buy the flour and salted fish to create one’s own meal. The flour is kneaded with other ingredients, rolled into little balls, then flattened before frying, allowing each ball to fry on both sides, until golden brown. 
While there’s no real way to know id they are cooked on the inside — using judgement is key. The codfish is scalded for about 15 minutes, minced then sautéed with onions and sweet peppers, and most times a secret ingredient.
As a reminder of Jesus’ blood that was shed, fish was chosen by ancestors as the protein eaten due to minimal blood, as compared to chicken and red meat. Although most people master the preparation of saltfish, bakes take practice in order to perfect the right texture and taste. Bakes may vary in size and texture as it is synonymous to other West Indian descendants, however taste is optimal. Though I am not a fan of salted fish, I am sure that my mom makes the best bakes in the world.

Place(s): The Carribean
Year: 1999

– Cruz N. R.

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more