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Soup, Vegetable Hating, Palate Changing and Paling Story

November 19, 2010

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.

Bajan soup Thin

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.

Bajan Soup Chunky Copyright Taymer Mason

Finally a middle consistency Bajan Soup with 3 whole wheat dumplings inside…..note I can only eat one dumpling per serving.

Bajan Soup Medium Consistency

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.

Spicy Split Pea Soup

Here is the creamy Calabaza Squash Soup

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

Tay

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2010 11:16 am

    Taymer those soups look fabulous…I love soups.

    Also were you still going to send me your cookie recipe? I would really love to have you join us. Let me know.

  2. Bianca permalink
    November 19, 2010 12:09 pm

    I was the same way, hated soup and bouillion as a child. As an adult I love creamy pumpkin soup, actually made one two days ago, using an american recipe but I just had to add, carrots, potatoes, yellow yams and Dumplings to make it complete!!

  3. November 19, 2010 12:25 pm

    Soup is so tasty and comforting; yours look amazing, as usual. Too bad soup isn’t sold like fries here, because I would totally be happy with that! And that christophene salad is delicious! 🙂

  4. Sharon permalink
    November 19, 2010 12:58 pm

    Those look nice!

    I never liked thick thick or very thin soups..somewhere in the middle is great for me.

  5. November 19, 2010 5:41 pm

    Really interesting post! I love hearing about people’s cultural experiences with food. And though I’m sick, those photos are giving me an appetite for soup (an Asian noodles-in-broth soup is what I’m going to have).

  6. November 20, 2010 7:10 am

    So many people dislike soup but I am loving it more and more! It’s funny how our tastes change as we grow up! All of your soups look fantastic and full of flavour!

  7. November 20, 2010 3:19 pm

    This post was great, Taymer. I love reading about your culture and stories from Barbados.
    xo
    kittee

  8. November 20, 2010 3:21 pm

    I didn’t really like soups as a kid, but it was because Finnish soups are quite icky – generally water with huge chunks of potatoes, some gross pieces of meat and some chunks of root vegetables floating in water with hardly any spices. Or the infamous “summer soup” which has cauliflower, peas, potatoes and carrots floating with milk… no spices there either. Eh. I really like thick and pureed soups, but my husband refers to pureed soup as “baby food”.

    I’ve never had chayote but I’ve thought I should probably try it. How much do you cook it for that aforementioned salad (or is it raw)?

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 20, 2010 5:46 pm

      The salad is cooked and u can peel the chayote and cook or steam it for 20 mins or so. Steam is better so u can get all ur nutrients. U may find them witha light brown look or green as I usually find them here

  9. November 21, 2010 6:48 am

    Tay, your soups look amazing! 🙂

    I LOVE soup – specially in winter – but my boyfriend will only eat soup if I tell him it’s “stew” or something else. It’s funny because someone above commented about Finnish soups – I think the same applies to most of Scandinavia/Northern Europe, as my (Danish) boyfriend says bland, watery broth with chunks of meat or veggies is what he associates with the word soup. I do suspect there must be some good Finnish soups as well, however, because the most amazing, vegan split pea soup I have ever tasted was in Finland. 🙂

  10. Pineapple Sage permalink
    November 21, 2010 4:55 pm

    Your chayote salad looks delicious. Growing up I have always loved chayote and still do. My dad grew the green and white ones in his kitchen garden. I usually steam them and add some thyme, mint leaves lemon juice and some parsley from my kitchen garden. Next time I make it I will add some grated carrots.
    Soups are my comfort foods. I have them summer, winter, spring and fall. Pumpkin soup is my favorite, with some carrots and sweet potatoes added……don’t forget a green scotch bonnet pepper.

  11. November 23, 2010 12:05 pm

    I still haven’t matured enough to like christophene 🙂
    But I felt the same way about our trini soups – why so much stuff inside? all i wanted was the potato and dumplings 🙂 no green fig, or saltfish or bones or whatever. I still don’t like too many different things in it but I appreciated the complex flavours alot more now.
    btw I got the book! it’s beautiful and can’t wait to cook something from it. My sister and I are thinking coconut turnovers for a start – it’s something we grew up with in Trinidad also.

  12. November 23, 2010 6:40 pm

    I love all of your soups they are just so beautiful!

  13. Gauri Radha गौरी राधा permalink
    November 24, 2010 4:42 am

    Those vegan soups look amazing 🙂

  14. Susi permalink
    January 4, 2014 12:33 pm

    This is amazing! I must have been your twin sister growing up on our island nation…though you were much cleverer than I as I only had a dog to which to throw my food…I was never very good at hurling it out the window though and I had to eat a large…no HUMONGOUS portion of soup and other foods. And now, my palate has changed and I’m looking for those comforting recipes of delicious foods to feed my children…they are luckier than I as I’m sure they’ll say we do not like this and I’ll acquiesce. Thanks for the share.

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