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Home News by RegionAnguilla News Fish – Clive’s Caribbean Food: Part III
Clive Caines CaribDirect

Clive Caines Cultural Contributor

As I said when I started these food features I have a number of concerns about the quality of the food we eat. I wanted to encourage those who had been seduced by processed foods to experience the joys and health benefits of cooking from scratch.

In this particular feature I want to look at fish, as there can be few arguments about its health benefits; though the cooking process can undo all of those benefits if you’re not careful. If you need any persuasion on the health benefits of fish here’s what the Harvard University’s School of Public Health has to say on the matter:

“There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels… The omega-3 fats in fish are important for optimal development of a baby’s brain and nervous system… Eating fish once or twice a week may also reduce the risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions.”

As always my reasons for featuring particular video will also apply here so just as a reminder my judgements will be based on a few simple factors:

  • How easy it is to follow the recipes.
  • How easy it is to find the ingredients.
  • How informative the video is.

1. Jamaican Style Escovitch Fish

I’ve started here not so because I’m intrigued by the fact that this dish claims to be Jamaican style but because of the escovitch tag. I confess that though I’ve heard of escovitch it is not something that I’m familiar with, probably because are not from parts of the Caribbean where this cooking style is popular.


The cook, Chris, has been featured in other videos I’ve offered up so you can expect a presentational style that is friendly, humorous but above provides easy to follow information.

As this video comes under the Caribbean Cookpot banner you can expect reasonable production values in the camerawork and sound, though I still think that better editing would make some of the camera shots unnecessary.

The video contain an excellent amount of information on the ingredients and how to prepare them, so if you haven’t tackled this dish before you’ll have no trouble following the cook’s instructions.

 

2. Steamed Fish.

I was attracted to the recipe because it is obviously better to use cooking methods that don’t require fat; in truth there is some frying but very little oil is used. I also like the fact that the fish being cooked is red snapper, which has to be one of the tastiest fishes on the planet.

In many ways the production in this video is much better than the first video given that there are no unnecessary bits of camera movement and each significant verbal instruction is accompanied with a graphic.

The presenter’s is again some one who has appeared in one of my earlier food features so you will not be surprised if I say that her presentational style is that of a wise and friendly mother who provides clear and easy to follow guidance.

Lastly the ingredients for this recipe shouldn’t prove a challenge to find no matter where you live as long as there is a half decent fishmonger nearby.

 

Fish Broth and Provisions

For me the word broth means an unthickened soup made of stock or water with meat and very little else but this is Caribbean cooking we talking about here and soups are always going to be substantial. I’m also drawn to this recipe because it fits nice with my theme of a healthy cooking, although for me fish shouldn’t be cooked for longer than 20 minutes but at least with soup the goodness is not lost in the cooking liquor.

As for the overall look of the video the images aren’t crystal clear, there’s a bit of a strange colour wash and the camera gets a bit wavy at points however, much like the previous video, there’s a good set of graphics to go with the imagery. All in all this is video requires a fair amount attention as it is almost ten minutes long but the presenter, Mercedes, makes the watch worthwhile with her chatty upbeat style and repeating of instructions.

So for the key points: How easy it is to follow the recipe – very given much of the videos time is taken up showing each part of the process. How easy it is to find the ingredients – there isn’t anything here that you couldn’t find at a well – stocked supermarket. How informative is the video? Very.

Fish Balls

One of the great things about globalisation and the mass migration that comes with it is the greater availability of ingredients and the broadening of ideas about cooking. I’ve included this dish not because it’s an example of fine dining but because it’s an example of the sort of creativity that showcases this broadening of Caribbean cooking ideas.

I don’t want it to appear that chef Chris is the only person worth listening to when it comes to Caribbean cookery but this is yet another video from ‘Caribbeanpot’. As I’ve already featured Chris’s work then you most certainly know what to expect in terms of production values, if anything this video is better than others featured, as the camera isn’t swung around so much.

In terms of ingredients the only things that I haven’t heard and therefore you might find them difficult to get hold of is shadow Benny and Pancro Bread crumbs, luckily Chris is thoughtful enough to offer alternatives if you can’t find these.

Fancy Cat’s Jamaican Steamed Fish with Crackers

Well here’s a real double barrel Jamaican performance: not only do you get a healthy way of cooking fish but there’s an interview with a Jamaican celebrity thrown in for good measure.

The interview is conducted by Grace Kennedy of Grace Foods fame, her more subtle Jamaican tones contrasting nicely with Fancy Cat’s straight up style. Between these two there is some excellent information on how to prepare and cook this dish, however what really drew my attention to this video is the fact that the cooking was done to suit a person with high blood pressure and what’s more there wasn’t a single drop of oil used.

As for the ingredients there is nothing used that would be difficult to find and the preparing of them will not tax the skills of the most casual of cooks, as long as they can safely wield a kitchen knife.

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caribdirect

We provide news and information for anyone interested in the Caribbean whether you’re UK based, European based or located in the Caribbean. New fresh ideas are always welcome with opportunities for bright writers.

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