What’s for lunch?
Usually, lunch at the school involves rice or sorghum, beans (either whole or made into sauce), and a fish sauce of some sort.
However, Jinel and the ladies in the kitchen make an effort to switch it up a little bit every now and then. Yesterday (Thursday), they made bouyon doliv ak boy, also known as moringa soup with dumplings.
Boy is the Creole word for dumplings made of flour, salt, and water, and usually rolled into logs.
Moringa has become one of those miracle food buzzwords of late, but the people on the Plateau were waaaaaay ahead of the game. They have been eating moringa (doliv, in Creole) leaves for a long time. They come from a tree that looks like this (although the trees can grow to bigger sizes):
In Haiti, they primarily eat the cooked leaves, although other parts of the tree are also edible. The leaves are packed full of nutrition; in fact, moringa is often called the “miracle tree,” because of it’s high nutrient content (which can be used to address mal-nutrition) and its medicinal uses. (If you are curious to investigate further, you can find more sources about moringa here.)
Although moringa grows well in drought-stricken areas, its leaves grow tough and bitter if the rain stops. That is because it ceases to push out new growth, which is what the people eat. Now that we have had a few rains, the moringa trees on the Plateau have fresh, tender green leaves. Moringa in the school lunches really amps up the nutritional benefit to the kids, so the school kitchen is aiming to pack as much moringa as possible into the food while it is available!