Few things unite Haitians more than savoring a bowl of soup joumou, the pumpkin-heavy dish hailed as a symbol of national identity and freedom.
Now it may also achieve distinction on the international stage as UNESCO weighs whether to add it to a list of traditions considered intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Steeped in history, the Scotch bonnet chili pepper and thyme-fused soup is held up by Haitians as a reminder of the bloody revolt their ancestors, enslaved Africans, staged against French colonizers, making Haiti the first Black-led republic in the world.
“It is the first meal shared between the first Black people of the world,” said Dominique Dupuy, Haiti’s new ambassador to the world’s leading cultural organization. “The added value to this list is undeniable.”