MYF - Sophia Brooks

>> Thursday 27 February 2014

Welcome! It's time for another installment of the MY FOOD Project.

MY FOOD is an online project of my ongoing research into Caribbean food culture and food heritage. The project seeks to explore how we think about food, how we use it to connect and communicate and the importance of food to our identity. For full details of the project and how you can participate, click here.

Joining us this week is Sophia Brooks (not her real name). Sophia is non-West Indian and was married a West Indian for 7 years.

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MF: Welcome Sophia. Where are you from?
SB: I am American born and I come from a bi-racial family. My father is white and my mother is black.
MF: Where is your former husband from?
SB: My ex-husband was Trinidadian of Indian descent.
MF: You say that you are American-born, do you currently live in the US?
SB: Yes
MF: While you and your ex-husband were together, who did most of the cooking? You? Him? Or was it a shared activity?
SB: It was a shared activity.
MF: Which of you dictated the type of food to be cooked? In other words, which of you had the most influence on the food?
SB: I had the most influence because I am a very high-maintenance foodie. I like organic and gourmet ingredients in perfect condition.
MF: How embracing was your husband of your food?
SB: He was open as long as it contained rice and some form of meat! I prefer more vegetables. I actually think it caused some problems. I like exotic foods but I also like snacks he thought were for kids. We were both good cooks but neither wanted the responsibility of being the daily chef!
MF: Through research I have found that it is often the women, especially if they are the non-West Indian (such as in your case) that go to great lengths to learn of the cuisine of their spouse. Was that the case with you?
SB: I did not go to great lengths. I was already familiar with Caribbean food and knew how to prepare some dishes. He did teach me some techniques and soon I noticed that I started eating hot peppers and using them after being around him. He put hot peppers on everything.
MF: What was the first Caribbean dish you were introduced to? What was the experience like?
SB: As a child I went to a grown folk's party with my mom in Los Angeles and I ate Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas. I ate so much food that the hosts told my mom not to let me eat anymore. LOL
MF: How did you learn to make Caribbean food?
SB: Some things I learnt from trial and error and others from recipes on the Internet.
MY: What is the one dish that you have mastered?
SB: Not a dish but an ingredient, rice.
MF: What is the one Caribbean dish that you would like to master?
SB: Your recipe for rum cake.
MF: Is there any dish that you make using the influence of your ex-husband's cuisine?
SB: I make a stew chicken/peanut butter chicken dish that is influenced by Caribbean and African cuisine.
MF: Thanks for sharing Sophia.

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Would you like to share your food with MY FOOD? Know someone that does? Leave a comment below or inbox me directly. The project is open to anyone that falls into one of the categories below and you do NOT need to have a blog to participate.


  • Caribbean/West Indian living at home in the region.
  • Caribbean/West Indian living abroad (1st, 2nd and 3rd generation. State which generation you are)
  • Non-Caribbean/West Indian and married/partnered with Caribbean/West Indian folk.
  • Non-Caribbean/West Indian but the region has been home for at least 5 years.

Join the conversation below and don't forget that you too can participate, get the details here. The next installment of MY FOOD is on Wednesday, March 12.

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