Coconut Buns in Honduras
I've been thinking a lot about food stories lately. Stories about favourite meals. Stories about the foods made by Grandmas. Stories about something funny that happened while enjoying food. Stories about recipes shared down through generations. Stories about stories told around the table.
So often, the stories told about food is of nutrition and health (or lack of it). Why must we feel the need to break everything down into these good/bad categories and such small components of nutrients? I can't say I'm not at fault here. As dietitian, I can't help but think about nutrients, labels, grams, absorption and potential health promoting effects of food. Even for me, this burden is exhausting, at times confusing and can take the pure joy out of food and eating.
I wonder how this effects our children. Requests made on them to eat something because it's good, or eat less of something because it's bad. How often do we use nutrition and health to convince our little ones that they must eat something we know they should? I've been there too. "Eat your spinach, it will give you muscles" or "Eat your meat so you can grow up big and strong." It is true that children are fascinated with what certain foods may do in our bodies and it can be helpful to teach them this for general knowledge. But don't be fooled that nutrition will actually convince them to eat something they don't feel ready for.
So in honour of speaking about food differently I am aiming to share some of my food stories with you. These have nothing to do with nutrition. They have everything to do with memories, nostalgia, culture, tradition and sharing. I hope they encourage you to think about your own food stories in your home, in your extended family and in your history.
My first food story is about some buns in Honduras. I wrote this story for a newsletter that is shared by my Community League to all our neighbours. This newsletter is one of the ways we stay connected as neighbours, and has become even more important during this time of the Pandemic. I hope you enjoy it!
Coconut Buns in Honduras
In 2014 our little community league travelled to St Helene, Honduras. While there, we met up with our old playground equipment and helped re-install it. Alongside us were Rotary Club members and the community in St Helene.
Fast forward 6 years and Christmas 2020 has brought with it some spare time to go through my old recipe collection. As I was leafing through pages of hand-written recipes, newspaper and magazine clippings I came upon a special recipe from Honduras.
On one of the last evenings we were there the St Helen community hosted a market for us. There were handmade bracelets and necklaces, seashells, baking, and offers of cracking coconuts for the water inside. I decided to purchase some fluffy white coconut buns. But like most unprepared tourists, the cash I had to offer was too large and the seller did not have the appropriate change for me. I decided to give her all the cash in exchange for the recipe. She met me the next day to pass it along.
I didn't even remember I had the recipe and I've never even made these buns! I love how it's written with different ratios depending on how much you'd like to make.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at the market, I guess I was too absorbed in the moment. One day I'll need to try the recipe and see if the buns are able to transport us back to that wonderful time in Honduras.