01 September 2008

A Bahamian breakfast

Here's what I had for breakfast on Sunday morning with my new pal Kermit Rolle.

Kermit is the 74-year-old proprietor of Kermit's Airport Lounge in Exuma. I told Kermit that I wanted to eat like a Bahamian and that I had a some time to kill. So he pulled up a chair, got me some sheep's tongue souse and johnny cake and proceeded to tell me his life story. Sheep's tongue souse is incredible by the way and I'm looking everywhere for a recipe but alas I am striking out. Anyone? Anyone? I know it was made with the boiled entrails of either a sheep or a goat, lime juice, potatoes, onions, allspice and Bahamian Bird Peppers. Man, who knew boiled organ meats could taste so good?

But more than the food, Kermit Rolle is the best story-teller I've ever come across. He told stories of a life so distant from mine it was hard to believe. Experiences like Sunday morning's at Kermit's Airport Lounge are why I travel. An hour spent with that man had me bowled over with gratitude for how easy I've had it when I compare my life with someone in the developing world. And at the same time I was struck with a deep admiration that someone could have the life he's had and be so happy and grateful as he looks back on it and talks to strangers like me. His joy ought to be counted as an ingredient in the incredible sheep's tongue souse.

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