Chef Simeon Hall Jr.
So.....Yinna Just Gone Forget The Bahamas?
Where the fu@%$ is The Bahamas? Have you ever found yourself loving and hating something simultaneously? And no, I'm not talking about any philosophical, freudian notions. I'm talking about the simple conundrum of being in love and in hate at the same time. Well, very often when I'm bogged down in my culinary research, it takes me to a place that nourishes my desire to know more, but often literally drains my inner peace. In Bahamianese, "Sometimes learning is yuck up my vextation!"
Bey......where is The Bahamas in the pages of culinary, and moreso Black culinary history? Anyone else ever notice how we are so well known for pretty beaches, swimming pigs, The Bahama Mama, and nowadays a harem of foreign culinarians, while forgotten for being the most recognizable point of entry for homeboy, Christopher Columbus? What ever happened to the stories of our indigenous people and their impact on the slaves that first landed with Mr. Columbus? How our foods, our people and our food culture was taken up the east coast? How conch, in particular dried conch and other dried seafood, and land crabs, came to be added to the repertoire of the journeying slaves and their amazing culinary genius?
And.....please don't get me wrong - I love and support the Caribbean, but this region isn't one homogeneous melting pot that a simple mention covers the entire region. The Bahamas was and is a proud regionally-specific pitstop in the journey of Black food culture that deserves it's own place in history!
Book after book, show after show, article after article and we are not even a whisper in the conversation. Granted tourism has camouflaged our contributions in the modern world, but frankly how dare you have a conversation about black culinary history without us?!?! Yinna musse forget where y'all come from.
Funny thing too is, (again knowledge is power) from around 1515 to about 1850 out of the millions of slaves that were sold, an estimated 400 k arrived to North America, but MILLIONS were shipped to Latin America, and The Caribbean, including The Bahamas!
So, as long as we are talking about food, and those impacted by that dreadful transatlantic journey, to omit The Bahamas is BLASPHEMOUS!