Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"ORANGE SOUP SURPRISE"

In March of 1982 I went on vacation to Jamaica for a week and spent a week in Montego Bay at the Holiday Inn Rose Hall. I was with my friend Jim Byrne along with Jim's friend Nancy Noveline and her friend Ann. On one of the evenings we decided to go to a reggae dinner.

The reggae dinner was held a few miles away from our hotel in a wooded grove with picnic tables and a stage up front. We were transported there by bus and there was a crowd of about a couple hundred people there for this dinner and show. On stage for entertainment was a "ska" band as well as reggae music. I remember going up on stage with my friends as they also had a limbo contest.

Surrounding the site was a large fence and I saw a couple of people with machine guns patrolling along the fence in the distance from the stage and tables. I guess that the Jamaican officials were concerned that the tourists in the crowd might get too unruly and attempt to rob and terrorize the local population so they had to fence this facility and guard this fence to make sure we didn't escape during the show.

The meal they served had beans and rice and a soup called "orange soup". The "orange soup" was quite tasty and I believe had some goat meat as one of the ingredients. When I was getting to the bottom of my soup bowl I noticed I had a portion of a jaw bone in my soup. This jaw bone had three or four molar sized teeth attached to it. I picked up the jaw bone and teeth and showed this to my friends saying "hey, look at this!" That was an "orange soup surprise". I know I didn't request teeth with my soup as they would be too hard to digest. Also, there was no prize for finding a jaw bone and teeth in your soup bowl.

I think and hope that this jaw bone was from a portion of a goat's mouth. Maybe in Jamaica when they put goat in their soup they really use the whole goat. I hope that one of the cooks didn't lose part of their teeth when preparing this soup. I also hope that these teeth weren't the remains of one of the out of control tourists who had to be shot for trying to climb the fence to bother the local people and then was ground up into the soup and passed off to us as goat meat.

This "orange soup"was tasty but next time I go to Jamaica I know now to request my soup without teeth as I'll just use the teeth in my own mouth if I need them.