Calling Shark and Bake a fish sandwich is like calling the bikini a swimsuit. Shark and Bake or Bake and Shark as the purist like to say, is a delicacy among tourist and locals at the number one beach in Trinidad, Maracas Bay. Shark and Bake can be a misnomer as it is sometimes served with some other fish fillet instead of shark, and the bake (bread) is always fried, not baked. What makes Shark and Bake a very tasty dish is that both the shark and the bake are deep fried, but only after a firm order is placed by the customer. The hot sandwich is then customized with any combination of over fifteen condiments from garlic sauce to pineapple chunks, but unlike Subway, the new sandwich owner puts the add-ons to his or her liking. Too many condiments contaminate the broth is the old wise saying and Shark and Bake is no exception. The secret to a good Shark and Bake is the garlic, shadon benny (cilantro), and pepper sauces. Almost anything else will take away from a perfect culinary experience. Restraint is the key.
Shark and Bake, like KFC and SPF 90 sun block, is not immune to steep price increases due to the world shortage of corn and a Shark and Bake now cost US$4.00, up from US$2.40 just over a year ago. This has not caused any decline in sales of this prized fish delicacy so a further price increase can be expected once customers remain willing. Shark and Bake is a unique dish to Trinidad and everybody has a favorite vendor at Maracas. Richard’s is the most popular and largest vendor at Maracas Bay but Tantie Rita’s is the tastiest. Shark and Bake has caused a stir on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods but I don’t know what is so bizarre about a simple fish sandwich.