Haiti: The red herring worth the risk

Smoked herring or aran fume in kreyol

Smoked herring or aran fume in kreyol

Haiti’s smoked herring is simply sublime. It is unctuous, not blase; strong, not aggressive; salty but slightly sweet in its tendency to melt into the cookpot without losing all of itself.

We cooked aran fume (kreyol for smoked herring) today. A simple concoction of peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic, tossed with the herring on a high heat.

Our Haitian housekeeper told us it was called Sos Aranso.

To me, nearly 10 weeks in Haiti, it seemed, in some way, redolent of the country – bright, flavourful, downbeat and earthy, but with a decided dignity and presence. It also, maddeningly, filled the house long after it was cooked and eaten. The smell, the sense that it was there.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac