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Food Soup joumou, a Haitian symbol of independence, at the center of Bon Appétit controversy

03:55  04 december  2020
03:55  04 december  2020 Source:   today.com

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The Soup That Symbolizes Haitian Freedom. On January 1—the country's independence day— Haitians prepare soup joumou , a rich When Haitians threw out the French, they vested this previously forbidden food with new meaning. "The soup became a symbol of Haitian independence

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar, divided, 1 pound beef shank, meat cut off bones into 1 "cubes, 1 pound stew beef (preferably chuck) cut into 1 "cubes, 1 cup epis seasoning base, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime), 1 tablespoon seasoned salt

On Dec. 1, Bon Appétit published the online version of their December 2020/January 2021 holiday issue that was guest-edited by chef Marcus Samuelsson. Among the recipes in the issue was one soup recipe excerpted from Samuelsson's new cookbook, "The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food: A Cookbook."

a bowl of soup © Provided by TODAY

In "The Rise," the recipe bears the title "Independence Soup," but in Bon Appétit's print issue and on the magazine's website, the soup was published under the title "Soup Joumou," referring to the beloved soup that many Haitians enjoy, especially on New Year's Day. Soon after its digital publication, users started accusing the magazine of disrespecting the dish and rated the recipe one out of five stars to express their disapproval.

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Soup joumou (/dʒuːmuː/; French: soupe au giraumon) is a famous mildly spicy soup native to Haitian cuisine. The soup is traditionally based on a large winter squash that resembles a pumpkin. The squash slices are simmered in a saucepan along with pieces of beef, potato

Eaten on New Years Day, Soup Joumou celebrates Haitian Independence . The soup commemorates that because the French wouldn't allow Haitian slaves to eat pumpkin soup because they were too lowly. As such, it's a reminder of Haitian independence from France!. See more ideas about Soup

"Your soup joumou is completely wrong. It's a very sacred Haitian dish and you chose to have non Haitian chefs make a mockery out of it. Do your research, this is unacceptable," one commented on Bon Appétit's Instagram post promoting the special issue.

"This is in no way, shape or form Haitian soup joumou. This is your whitewashing of a dish that was born out of a lengthy, bloody war against colonizers that enslaved the people of Haiti. This is the celebratory dish of Haitians gaining their independence from the French to become the first black republic in the world!! This is beyond disrespectful," wrote another commenter, before demanding, "Fix it or take it down!"

Marcus Samuelsson standing in front of a building: Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One - Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite featuring Culinary Demonstrations at The IKEA Kitchen presented by Capital One (John Lamparski / Getty Images for NYCWFF) © John Lamparski Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One - Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite featuring Culinary Demonstrations at The IKEA Kitchen presented by Capital One (John Lamparski / Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Samuelsson, who was named an advisor and guest editor of the Condé Nast publication in late August, told TODAY Food in a statement, "The soup recipe on Bon Appétit was initially adapted from my book, The Rise. The headnote has been updated to reflect how it is described in full in my book, where it is included as an homage to the Haitian Independence Soup, soup joumou."

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Bon appétit ! Haitian pumpkin soup called soupe Joumou pronounced (joo-moo) or sometimes called Sunday soup signifies freedom to the Haitian people. Haitian soup Joumou (Pumpkin soup ) Haitian households celebrate their country’s Independence Day today with a bowl of pumpkin soup .

Haitian Independence Day Soup Joumou Clip Art. Hard-core carnivores usually flip over my soup . Yeah, life is worth the fight! Bon appétit ! Soup Joumou A Symbol of Haitian Independence Day – L'union Suite. (Lovely picture of my Facebook Friend Samuel Darbouze: More soup with my baby girl!)

The soup recipe has since been updated on Bon Appétit's website with a new title, "Pumpkin Soup With Spiced Nuts." An accompanying editor's note reads, "We’ve updated the name and byline of this dish, and changed the headnote to match the excerpted recipe, which is chef Marcus Samuelsson's take on Haitian soup joumou, from Samuelsson’s cookbook ‘The Rise.’ We apologize for misrepresenting this recipe."

Recipe developer Yewande Komolafe, who was also initially credited for the recipe alongside Samuelsson, wrote an Instagram post on the matter and explained that she had "no part in writing or creating" the soup recipe in question.

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Haitian Independence Soup Joumou . Happy Haitian Independence Day! 🇭🇹 In this video we not only celebrate a new year we also celebrate the blessing of building new traditions.

Soup Joumou A Symbol of Haitian Independence Day – L'union Suite. (Lovely picture of my Facebook Friend Samuel Darbouze: More soup with my baby girl!) Written by Woodring Saint Preux “Perhaps we Haitians should tell the whole world that being the FIRST BLACK NATION is no walk in

In a statement to TODAY, a Condé Nast spokesperson said, "We deeply regret offending people and misrepresenting this dish, which is an important part of global food history. We are sorry for under-emphasizing that this dish is loosely inspired by soup joumou."

On Wednesday, Samuelsson also issued an apology on his Instagram Stories, writing, "I apologize for how it was presented in the issue of Bon Appétit that I guest edited. This error is not at all in line with how we approached sharing or celebrating Black culinary traditions in The Rise or in Bon Appétit and I apologize to those we have offended.”

So, what is soup joumou?

For Leah Penniman, the co-director and farm manager of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, who is of Black Creole ancestry, soup joumou is "a hearty, pumpkin soup with a kick." She told TODAY, "It's got a scotch bonnet spice and an earthy thyme flavor. And it's traditionally made with beef, but there's also vegetarian versions. So, (a) wonderful autumn dish that can incorporate many of the harvest vegetables in the region."

a boy sitting at a table in a kitchen: Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm holds a bowl of soup joumou. (Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman) © Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm holds a bowl of soup joumou. (Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman)

Haitian-born chef Stephan Berrouet Durand, who has worked on events with the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C. among others, explained in an email to TODAY, "Well first it is a pumpkin soup, but this particular pumpkin is more used and prominent in the Caribbean and in Latin America. They call it kabocha squash (but) in Haiti we know it just as joumou, because it is the only variety grown there. The soup is very hearty with meats and vegetables. It's a labor of love as it takes a while to prepare. Usually you'll find beef with bones in it and a variety of vegetables."

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What does soup joumou represent?

According to Berrouet Durand, the dish is a recipe that's passed down from generation to generation.

"Soup Joumou is a tradition in the Haitian community and culture. It's a meal that is enjoyed as a celebration for the new year, but more than that, it's an iconic dish that is deeply ingrained in our DNA as it also celebrates the day of our independence.

"So you will find this soup on every Haitian table, mine as well. So indeed I definitely grew up eating it in my household. It's an amazing soup/recipe. The soup is a staple in my house and as a matter of fact, we make it almost every Sunday."

He added, "the practice of drinking this soup is also associated (with an old tale) that (says) you will attract good luck for the new year."

Leah Penniman sitting at a table with broccoli and other vegetables: Penniman includes seasonal vegetables in her own soup joumou. (Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman) © Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman Penniman includes seasonal vegetables in her own soup joumou. (Courtesy Neshima Vitale-Penniman)

Penniman explained that the dish is a reminder of both oppression and freedom.

"The symbolism of this pumpkin being used to mark our (Haitian) liberation is very, very important so whenever I taste or as they say, sip the soup joumou, I have an opportunity to think about the resiliency of my ancestors and of oppressed peoples around the world to shake off tyranny and the ways that that can be connected with the fruits of the earth and our relationship to the land."

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How do you make soup joumou?

"It is a recipe that usually takes quite a bit of time. First there is the preparation of the Haitian Epis or marinade that is going to season the meats which also helps to tenderize the pieces of meat. Those pieces are usually stuck to the bone so that they are usually a little tough," Berrouet Durand described.

Haitian Pork Griot by Cherven Desauguste

"Then you have to prepare all of the vegetables that will be incorporated in the dish. Carrots, leeks, onions etc. also take a little bit of time. So, when (it's the) first day of the new year, most of the preparation was done the day before so that they can start cooking very early. The family will usually gather after church to sit together and have the soup."

Berrouet Duran explained that the traditional beef can be swapped with other proteins, something he experiments with. But since it's a traditional dish with significant historical meaning, he added, "If you are getting away from ingredients and flavors of the original, you should not call it soup joumou."

"It is a very important recipe to our culture which is also tied into history. Understand that the world evolves and I can certainly tell you that the way the original recipe was prepared back in 1804 as a celebration of our freedom and independence, the recipe has certainly changed with the addition of spaghetti for example. … as a chef I tend to play around with recipes and want to try new things, but my favorite modification maybe (is) using different proteins."

Soul Fire Farm's Soup Joumou by Leah Penniman

For a vegetarian take on the dish, you can make Soul Fire Farm's soup joumou recipe. You'll need one pound of kabocha squash, or Caribbean pumpkin, along with a variety of aromatics, vegetables, coconut milk and one whole scotch bonnet pepper, or another type of spicy pepper, and the pasta is optional.

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