Archives: December 3, 2011

Portraits of Haiti – Cow Intestines

In the back of the Point Sande Market, along the Artibonite River in Haiti, a woman hangs cow intestines on a line to dry in the sun.  Citrus juice from sour oranges is commonly used to clean many types of meat, including this – inside and out.  Once dry the intestines are cut up and used to flavor different foods, rice dishes, and vegetable stews.  Used like a spice, they add a refined meaty flavor.  For people who can’t afford meat, adding bit to other dishes gives a mild taste of beef.

Drying and dehydrating lean meat under natural conditions has been practiced for centuries to keep meat from spoiling.  It’s also a popular method in developing countries, particularly where cold storage is unavailable. Exposure of fresh meat to the sun or open air reduces water content so rapidly that no bacterial spoilage can take place, even though the temperatures may remain high.  You don’t have to go back many generations in your own family to when they ate meat in a similar way.

If you look closely at this image, the colors, shapes, and interactions have an interesting appeal.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher.  ALL rights reserved.  Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

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