Solomon Gundy

Photo by Carlington Wilmot

Winter 2007, JamaicanEats magazine

A popular Jamaican spread (French and English origins) for crackers, Solomon Gundy is made with smoked red herring, vinegar, Scotch bonnet pepper and other herbs and spices. Besides being a popular island spread, Solomon Gundy is also an old English nursery rhyme which was used to teach children the days of the weeks:
Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,|
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end of Solomon Grundy.


  • 1 pound/450 g smoked herring
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (deseeded) or other hot pepper
  • 1 stalk escallion
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Direction

  1. Boil smoked herring for about 15 minutes to remove some of the salt. Or soak in cold water for an hour.
  2. Discard the water, remove bones from the herring, flake the flesh and set aside.
  3. Warm the vinegar and sugar on a low fire, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Do not allow it to boil.
  4. Puree onion, oil, peppers, escallion, and thyme for about a minute.
  5. Add the fish and vinegar solution to the seasoning and puree for another minute.

Variations: Add pickled oysters or anchovies to the mix.

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-By Grace Kitchens (Grace Kennedy Foods)

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