Originally made for and eaten only by slave owners, Haitians appropriated the soup as their own when they gained independence from France on January 1st 1804.
It became a symbol of freedom and an expression of dignity and resilience. The soup is made with giraumon, a variety of pumpkin indigenous to the Caribbean.
It is prepared and eaten specifically on the first of January – Haiti’s Independence Day – the first meal of the year. And it’s also a common traditional Sunday breakfast.
Joumou or giraumon soup is made with vegetables, plantains, meat, pasta and spices.