Friday, March 6, 2015

Soup Joumou

My first impression of Haitian cuisine in general was that the food is inedible. This was probably because of how much most of Haitian cuisine is a mixture of meat, vegetables and all manner of spices all prepared as one dish and eaten as a complete meal.
As A Kenyan who really hasn't taken keen interest in matters concerning Haiti further than the earthquake that happened in the year 2010 and the fact that one of my favourite musicians Wyclef Jean, (namesake! *screams*) comes from Haiti, it was an interesting experience to actually make food eaten in Haiti from locally sourced ingredients and enjoy eating it.
Tasked with the assignment to select and prepare a dish, I settled on Soup Joumou which seemed economical (not really,LOL!) and less time consuming.
Soup Joumou, as I learnt later on, is eaten every 1 of January in Haiti when they celebrate the New Year as well as their independence. The soup has a deeper significance to Haitians as they describe it ideally as "traditional thick, hardy French Caribbean soup created in 1804 and represents Haitian defiance of the French colonial powers, who had declared that slaves could not eat soup".
The soup contains a variety of vegetables like I mentioned before but the good thing is that all these are available in the market at all seasons and at affordable price for each ingredient. The link to the recipe is

 The overall preparation process took an hour, exclusive of the time i took to marinade and season the meat overnight. Once you follow the recipe to the latter, you will have something that looks like this:
Being a 'doubting Thomas', I was not sure of bringing the dish to class lest it backfires and sends people to hospital at the end of the day. I therefore sought the impecable palate (but do I say) of Natalie Rand, a close friend of mine who hold the record of having the most sensitive stomach in the neighbourhood.
After Natalie tasted the food and did not seem to have any health complications, I deemed the food fit for consumption. My sincere thanks go to my mum for allowing me to use her kitchen for my "experiment", my friends Diana and Topistar who joined us for class on that day of my presentation and the entire class for their co-operation and positive remarks during the course of my presentation. Special thanks go to the one and only Dr. Wandia. If not for her, who knows, I'd never know people in Haiti even eat!

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