Flying Kites, Rara Bands, and Poisson Gros Sel: Easter Season in Haiti

Easter traditions in Haiti include kite flying, rara bands, and food.

Soaring in the wind, simple, colorful kites express the longing to transcend the quotidian.

And rara brings music, tapped out on metal instruments, many rough and angular, hewn from scraps of metal and old oil drums.

As for food, Haitian Poisson gros sel (Rock Salt Red Snapper) lands on tables and plates, since red meat evokes blood on Good Friday.

Poisson Gros Sel

2  whole red snappers, scaled, cleaned, and gutted,
3 cups of water

Sea salt
1/2 cup epis
3 limes
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Springs of fresh parsley
Springs of fresh thyme
6 cloves
6 garlic cloves, left whole

Cut two slits in snappers on each side. Rinse fish in water and the juice of two of the limes.

Lay fish on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt and the juice of the remaining lime. Add epis and marinate fish for at least 2 hours or overnight. remove fish from marinade and set aside. Keep the marinade.

In a deep frying pan, add the marinade and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then add fish. Simmer over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes.

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