I, Fitzgerald Toussaint am half African American and Haitian. My mother is African American and my father is Haitian born and raised there. Me growing up as a kid I didn’t really get to see my dad very often because him and my mom were separated, but I still got to see my grandma from my father’s side mostly everyday out of the week god rest her soul. She owned a daycare, and provided many things for children such as food, shelter and anything else an ordinary grandmother can give. She took the kids to school; made sure they had lunches and feed them early in the morning so they wouldn’t be hungry going to school. She always spoke Spanish so mostly all the daycare kids could barely hear what she says most of the time, me either but I kind of had a clue what she says most of the time because I’m so use to being around her 24/7. The one thing the kids really didn’t look forward to coming home from school was her cooking the kids taught it was horrible, only because she makes food that only her culture enjoys. This wasn’t anything like my mom’s cooking, this was totally different, she even made the same things she makes every day on holidays, beans and rice no beef what so ever. It was just a cultural thing, something that people didn’t understand about her. She was a very passionate woman.
There culture is nothing likes ours. African Americans really like fast food places, places that have your food ready in a simple amount of minutes, while Haitians like to spend time actually cooking food. They like to cook there food nice and slow so that they can get the proper vitamins that they need and the proper minerals. There food is has a spicy taste to it, it’s not too hot it’s kind of a mild taste. Some deserts they have are sweet bread made out of sweet potato. My grandma makes cornbread and puts cherries and whip cream on. She like to make milkshakes and call them a Haitian swamp, and she uses milk, ice cream, whip cream, and uses fruits to top the dessert off with a nice and tasty taste that’s very good and healthy.
In my grandparents house there were only certain food that were allowed to be ate. A lot of foods that were not permitted were things like candy, McDonalds, Wendy’s, taco bell, just basically real greasy foods. Sweets weren’t allowed to be eating unless it was made by my grandmother. In effect of that it caused a lot of the daycare kids to be a little healthy, but they were also hungry all the time because that’s all younger kids enjoy is candy, sweets and fast food. If you were caught eating anything that’s not permitted resulted in punishment. My grandma was a very sweet loving person, but she really was the type to like things going her way at all times. We never went out to eat, or to any fast food places. A lot of kids were devastated when it came to food over my grandma’s house, but she always knew how to have fun with the kids. She wasn’t really outgoing but knew what the kids liked to do.
Growing up to teenage years, I started to think I was too old to go over my grandmother’s house and stay the night because of all the kids that would be there and I thought I was too old to even be around them. So I started to not follow by my grandmas eating rules and started to eat foods that were appealing to me, such as fast foods. My mom was one who had the same rules as my grandmother, but just different foods. She made stop eating fast food as well. I was told just because I’m not getting babysat anymore by my grandmother, that I still have to obey her rules out of respect for her. I still would come around for every holiday and celebrate with my dad’s side of the family, and help her cook occasionally. The food may not have been the best but I still ate because it really meant something to her and I knew she was very passionate about her culture and what they eat.
I really don’t obey those rules now that I’m in college because I can’t really eat the foods that she have been preparing for us since we were younger. The foods that I’m eating now aren’t unhealthy there very healthy but there just not my cultural foods that my grandma use to eat. If I had a choice and to eat her food and eat the food I’m eating now my choice would be eating the food I’m eating now, because her food wasn’t nothing I could just eat every day, I was just eating it because that’s what she was cooking every single time I was over there. It’s really hard to eat her food when she is deceased and have no possible way to have anyone to cook the food she cooks because all my families are so spread out.
My habits are very different now that I’m a young adult; I have different ways of doing a lot of things. I used to watch what I eat all the time around my dad’s side of the family because they were really cultural. The habits I have now are very heavy and I don’t think they could ever be broken. One habit I develop when I was younger was I had to have a piece of my mom’s chicken every time I came home from my grandma’s house, because even though I have split cultural, I still enjoy African American food the most because that’s all my mom cook was soul food. Food that touches in a wonderful way.