Soup, Vegetable Hating, Palate Changing and Paling Story
A Vegetable Hating Vegan inconceivable!
I ate vegetables for my entire neighbourhood when I was growing up in Barbados. I would gawk at children who said their parents did not like vegetable so they did not have to eat. My mom loved to eat veg and made sure I had an overdose of veg. A week ago someone asked me a question what was my least favourite vegetable growing up and I said beets. There was nothing and still is nothing good I feel towards beets.It can colour things red but even now cooked beets give me the willies. Another vegetable was christophene (chayote). Every single Sunday my father would make steamed christophene with carrots and I would wonder why would anyone enjoy this. It took many years later to revamp his overcooked christophene salad to this. This version I cooked the carrots half way through and made my own vinaigrette and tossed the vegetables in it. I actually salivate over this now after years of getting goosebumps after every swallow but it shows how much your palate changes when you get older.
Soup Drinking in the Caribbean
Is another Barbadian and overall Caribbean delight that I never understood and started to finally understand after going vegan. Every week my mom would do Bajan Soup and I would start to get sick before getting home. I could not stand at that time what I saw as a “wrong turn” soup with so much things going on and pieces of this and that. Why would anyone want that plus it made me sweat when I ate it. Bajan Soup is a heavy soup made with West Indian Pumpkin (Calabaza Squash or winter squash), sweet potatoes, other root vegetables, protein and DUMPLINGS. A soup without dumplings is not a soup according to Barbadian culture. They scoff at things like canned soup because it is not their soup. I did not get it. I had to still eat my soup though and due to my immature palate I would outsmart my mother. I would take a plastic bag under my clothes and when she was not looking I would dump the thick soup into the plastic bag and throw it over the neighbours paling (galvanized fence in the Caribbean). I did this all during my childhood and I would rub the remaining soup around my mouth to show I ate it. You must be saying this soup must be bad but it is the best thing now to me and actually was a tester favourite in the book. I just did not get it until I got older. When I was writing CV I was asked why soup is consumed in the Caribbean and not salads. I thought it was a silly question based on North American food culture that could not be applied to the West Indies. It is warm in the West Indies all year through so does it mean we should never eat soup or eat salads everyday of the warm year? Soup is well loved on a hot day because people want to eat it and sweat, they want to be full and feel that warm soup belly feeling they get. They want to bite into warm spiced dumplings and enjoy their soft white cooked down sweet potatoes. They like soup and that is it. Most Barbadians would take a bowl of soup any day over a salad and that is the way it is. In Trinidad soup is sold like fries. I was driving around a few years ago and I saw people in the middle of the night EATING SOUP. I do not understand how we can say drinking soup in the Caribbean with all the chewing one must do. Soup is just a Caribbean staple…I was even surprised when I saw a young boy throw away his fast food box when he heard his grandmother made soup that day. WTH!!!!!???? I understand why you did it my son:)
This photo shows Bajan Soup thin, could you believe my turmeric container fell into the soup by accident colouring it yellow. No it is not yellow. Do not worry I have more accurate photos of Bajan Soup …and yes this is vegan and that is not real chicken for the confused souls reading this.
This is thick Bajan Soup which was the way I preferred when I was forced to eat it. I would just eat the goodies in the soup and sometimes I would have a piece of ham in it especially after Christmas…don’t worry I have my vegan everyday ham inside.
Finally a middle consistency Bajan Soup with 3 whole wheat dumplings inside…..note I can only eat one dumpling per serving.
OK so there are other soups consumed on a small level probably restaurant level and these are blended soup like spicy split pea soup and West Indian Pumpkin Soup.
Here is the creamy Calabaza Squash Soup
That is it for Week 3 of Vegan Mofo.
Whew one more week today and I have no material in advance so I have to get planning.
See you on Monday