The Tradition of Fish Fry Fridays
We Love a Good Fish Fry On Friday
In our household, there’s nothing like a nicely golden battered piece of basa or catfish on Friday. We can eat fish anytime of the week, but for some reason Friday seems to be that day that it tastes especially good.
Coming from a catholic culture, many Creoles can attest to the tradition of coming together on a Friday night to break fish, and eat potato salad, maybe even barbecued ribs, and drink of kool aid on the side (the kool aid is of course optional). Perhaps it was God that made the day especially set up to enjoy the end of the working week with some succulent fried fish.
So, where does this love of fried fish on Fridays come from? Who started this tradition, and art there other cultures battering and frying fish on Friday? We wanted to explore the fried fish on Friday, and we wanted to share with our #creedies.
The Catholic Tradition
Traditionally, Creole culture follows the Catholic influences of our Spanish and French ancestry. We did some internet searching for why Catholics like to eat fried fish on Fridays and we found that the history is not entirely remembered as a religious observance, even by the very people who still keep the tradition.
We really liked what this NPR story shared, which says that because Christian teaching states Jesus died on Friday, the church required its followers to fast for Lent to commemorate the sacrifice that Jesus made in his death for humanity. Supposedly, the tradition expanded to say that the consumption of warm-blooded animals were forbidden from being eaten. Because fish are technically cold-blooded, it was the popular protein option to observe the crucifixion sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
A random, but interesting fact that we found in our research is that McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish sandwich derived from a Cincinnati franchise, which held a larger Catholic population, as they struggled to sell hamburgers on Fridays during Lent.
Creole Creed Fried Fish Recipe
We thought that our Creedies might enjoy a recipe that will help y’all put a little kick in your fried fish, and we wanted to get your thoughts on this one.
4 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Creole Seasoning (Creole Creed seasoning soon to come, for now you can use Slap Ya Mama)
Cayenne pepper (to add that extra kick)
1 cup buttermilk
8 (6–8-oz.) basa, catfish, or any other freshwater fish to your liking
Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. You will know it’s ready if you do a quick flick of water test, to see if its at optimal frying temperature. You can also use a deep-fry thermometer, and it that should read at 350˚.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, Creole seasonings, and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl. Divide half the cornmeal mixture into another bowl. Put buttermilk into a medium bowl. Now that your station is set up, make sure that work your fish in batches. Roll fish in cornmeal mixture, transfer to buttermilk (make sure to shake off excess liquid), and dredge in second bowl of cornmeal mixture.
Using tongs, fry fish (about 4-5 pieces at a time), turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, this should take about 5-7 minutes. Repeat and serve with your favorite tarter and hot sauces, and bread.