Rum shops are everywhere in Trinidad. Roti shops are too. Where you don’t either of them, though, sometimes you might just find shark oil shops like this one.
What’s shark oil?
A traditional Trini folk product from long ago, shark oil is still used as a panacea to treat a wide range of maladies. The common cold, ulcers, swine flu, rashes, respiratory problems, and cancer are just a few of the ailments shark oil is reputed to treat.
The oil is produced by boiling a fresh-caught shark’s liver. The liquid apparently bears some similarity in appearance to coconut oil. Also like anything coconut-related, shark oil is also said to make you strong like a lion. Or, as one purveyor of shark oil was quoted in the Trinidad Guardian as saying some years ago…
shark oil does keep you ‘happy and lively.’
Shark oil shops like this one that we passed along the road to Manzanilla Beach a few years ago are where you go to get the oil in its purest raw form. We were feeling just fine at the time, though, so didn’t stop in to get a taste or more details.
How about you? Ever treat an ailment with shark oil, or stop in at a shark oil shop while adventuring around Trinidad?