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As Lent begins, watchdogs monitor seafood prices

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Fish is in demand, and more expensive this year, for Lent. Photo: Sipse

Fish will cost up to 30 pesos more per kilogram, just as demand grows for Lent.

Fuel prices are blamed for higher prices, but Profeco, the government’s consumer watchdog, is still monitoring sales of seafood, as well as chicken and eggs.

Merchants report the demand for seafood rises by 20 percent for the Christian holiday. Demand is highest on Wednesday and Fridays, when red meat is forbidden to Catholics.

In Progreso, the region’s center of seafood distribution, no complaints against fish traders have been reported as of Wednesday morning.

Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday, and lasts until Thursday, April 13. Christians who observe Lent use it as a time for prayer and penance.

Following the revelry of Carnaval, Lent is the period of 40 days — plus six Sundays — leading to Easter. The word for Lent in Spanish is Cuaresma, which comes from the word cuarenta, meaning “forty.”

On Fridays in particular, both fish and shrimp are both popular among the faithful in Mexico. Another Lenten favorite empanadas de vigilia, pastry shells stuffed with vegetables or seafood.

Just because it’s Lent doesn’t necessarily mean no dessert. On Good Friday, you may find a bread pudding called capirotada. It contains layers of nuts, cheese, dried fruit, and bread drizzled with cinnamon-infused sugar syrup.

With information from Profeco

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