E.T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEARNING
Title: CORNED FISH
Author: Caroline Sackey Lawrence
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Grade Level: 4-6
Season: Dry Season
1. The Sun 1.Social Studies
3. Carrying Capacity 2.Science
6. Natural Resources 3.Language Arts
10.Gains and Losses
Student shall clean a fish and preserve it by salting and sun drying.
Early man knew the value of salt to preserve food. Salt ponds were used in a
belt around the equator all over the world to extract salt from the sea. They
also knew the value of spices in preservation, such that Christopher Columbus
was seeking a water route to "Cathay" for spices, when he encountered the
Caribbean island chain. In the Virgin Islands, students have lost touch with
the old ways and in this exercise we are imitating the method of preserving that
was used in the "olden" days. Strangely, salt cod from the New England states
was one of the early large imports to the islands.
One freshly caught fish, scaling knife, heavy knife to gut and fillet the fish,
screen to contain the fish fillets during the drying process, and about a pound
of iodized salt.
Place a scaled and gutted fish in the full sun in order that excess water can be
dried from its flesh. This may be on a roof which doesn't drain into a cistern.
Fillet the fish lengthwise. Pour (rub in) a large amount of salt on the fish.
Place, or hang suspended by a wire, the salt covered fish in the sun a second
Repeat by placing additional salt on the fish and continue to sun dry until it
is salted and firm. The hot sun helps the flesh of the fish absorb salt.
Prepare a meal using the fish. After drawing out the salt by placing the fish
in repeated fresh water, fix it according to your favorite recipe. Enjoy.
1. Why is it important to use iodized salt? Is iodine an element that is
commonly found in food? Is it important to people for health? What disease is
associated with a lack of iodine?
2. Why do we corn fish in dry weather? What might happen in wet weather?
3. How long will salted fish keep? Must you continue to sun dry it?
4. Can you eat the salted fish as it is? What must be done to prepare it for
5. Can you guess how corned beef is made? What does the key word "corn" tell
6. What is the common way for preserving fresh fish now? What does this require
and how does it constitute an environmental concern?.