Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trinidadian Breakfast - Saltfish Buljol and Smoked Herring with Bake

Saltfish Buljol with Bake and Poached Eggs - Speyside, Tobago
I love the diverse melting pot that is Caribbean cuisine, particularly in Trinidad.  The strong East Indian influence and European influences mixed with the abundant tropical foods is pure awesomeness for me.  What was a shame was that at our hotel on Tobago, the Blue Waters Inn I mentioned is struggling to find it's stride as a tourist destination makes the common annoying mistake of offering more international choices than local.  Really? Mexican buffet dinner? Really? In Tobabo?

Anyhoo, at least at breakfast, we could count on some local fare, well almost.  For some odd reason, though we were a mere few feet from the ocean, they were totally out of seafood that wasn't preserved.  No flying fish or Shark Bacon.  Booo!  They did thankfully have Saltfish Buljol and Smoked Herring.  It is typically served in a heaping serving fried with Onions and Bell Peppers with a side of fried Bake.  We ordered Eggs on the side.  I asked about the Potatoes that were on the menu but ... ? they were out... of Potatoes.  Really? 

Smoked Herring with Bake and Sunny Eggs - Speyside, Tobago
The Smoked Herring was yummo!  A tad oily as was the Saltfish but it was aromatic and flavourful.  The Saltfish however, was a bit over soaked the first time I had it wish leaves very bland.  Salting cooked Saltfish is a totally different thing that leaving the Salt it was preserved in.  The second time I had it, they soaked it just right.  Not too salty, like it was at the Hilton in Port of Spain.  It is tricky. You can taste the soaking water or you can try floating an Egg in it.  If an Egg sinks directly to the bottom, there is virtually no Salt in the Water.  It'll take some practice to get to know how much you want your Egg to float so it's just easier if you taste the water.  When they go the Salt right on the second time, it was soo good.  Very comforting!  Since I have a predilection for Jamaican cuisine, I thought it went really well with Eggs which I could pretend were Ackee :^D. 

Bake, oh the Bake.  It is wonderful, if I didn't loathe deep frying at home, because of the mess and smell, I would make this everyday.  It's a local TT bread that comes in small rounds the size of a small Pancake.  If cooked properly, the middle is hollow but the outside is still bready but crispy.  I had one in POS that was too oily and bready with no hollow.  The Bakes at Blue Waters Inn were all done really well, to order.  mmmmmm  I will have to try to do Bakes when it gets a little cooler.

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