Diversity. It is important. Not only in society, but also in creativity! Therefore, article will be different from others, as we will be listening to one of BUAS’ 4th year students: AJ Engelhardt. AJ moved from Curacao to the Netherlands when he was one years old. While he grew up in a Dutch environment, at home his life was still influenced by Curacao. This was mainly by the kitchen.
What is your favourite dish? Common answers might be pizza or fries, but for AJ Engelhardt, favourite food is something his mates found a bit odd: banana soup.
“Banana soup brings back nostalgia for me. It is a very sentimental dish for me, because my mother would always cook it for me either on my birthday, or on days she knew I was a bit down. Whenever I would smell it coming out of the kitchen, I would be over the moon!”.
Banana soup is actually savoury and made with a different type of bananas. These are “bake bananas” and are typically found in Asian supermarkets.
Out of the Caribbean islands, Curacao has a different kind of history. They have many influences, one of the biggest ones being the Dutch. The island is home to mostly Afro-Caribbean, along with Dutch, French, Latin American, and Asian folk. In addition, there is also a significant Jewish input. From many languages, English is widely spoken, but the native tongue is Creole of Portuguese descent. But because of the islands’ history with the Netherlands, Dutch can be heard in everyday language as well. Like the Netherlands, it is home to a large variety of people. The Dutch influences can be seen in architecture and some food, like bitterballen and poffertjes, two very popular dishes in Curacao. Due to many people from different cultures on an island, they will start to mix and create a culture of themselves, and that includes new kinds of manners and kitchen.
“Where I am from, Curacao, they eat all kinds of food that are very different from Western food. For example, there is Jambo, something that kind of looks like slimy boogers, or Sul, a dish made with pigs’ ears. But it actually makes me feel proud to say that an odd dish like banana soup is my favourite dish. It is one of the things that reminds me of home.”
How to make AJ’s banana soup? His mother makes it with a secret recipe, even AJ does not know what she puts in it, but we have scanned a couple recipes and got the best out of them!
For two persons
- 2 bake bananas
- 1 onion, sliced
- 600 ml water
- 25 grams of coconut cream
- 1 cube of vegetable broth
- Half of a red pepper
- 1 sweet potato, in cubes
- Small piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Cumin to taste
- 1 piece of cinnamon branch
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
1. Cook the onion in the vegetable or olive oil until soft and semi-transparant.
2. Add in the ginger and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds.
3. When everything is fragrant and mixed in, add the curry powder, cumin and cook for a minute. After that, you can add the banana, sweet potato, cinnamon, cumin and vegetable broth. Don’t forget to add in the water. Let it come to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, with the lid on the pan.
4. Add in the coconut cream until it has dissolved.
5. Blend it with a hand blender until smooth.
6. Serve in bowls, enjoy!