Most days I awake wondering how my food day will go, what will I eat, what will I be willing to forgo in an effort to fight the bulge or at the minimum to maintain the continuous efforts of my legs not getting any bigger.
So I salivate at the moments when I can get a side dish that has the propensity to meet those needs and yet satisfy my often salacious appetite. So while I look for a place to have lunch and mentally settling on the fact that a vegetable is the best choice, I walk up on a food truck, called “Soul Truck.” Can you imagine my enchantment with just reading the words soul food, then to discern that the best tasting vegetable is possibly available to me, and that vegetable being collard greens. Sure collards as they are affectionately called usually mixed with some fat from some sort of meat whether it be pork or turkey seasoned with probably more salt than necessary is right up my alley and at the end of the day I can still say, “I had a vegetable for lunch.”
Never seeing this truck before, nor ever hearing of its food, and having a sweet spot for small entrepreneurs I eagerly decided to get a side of collard greens from Soul Truck. Piping hot these collards were given to me which made me believe I was getting the first serving of the day even though it was after 2:00 in the afternoon. Upon opening my take out container, I notice a reason to pause…multiple stems. Stems you say, yes stems, all collard cookers and eaters know for sure that too many stems make your greens bitter. These collards were cooked with turkey instead of pork, yet the turkey was lacking enough flavor to lend some to the collards, it was bordering on the side of being completely unstimulating. Yes the turkey was tender, sure there were nice size bits mixed in the greens, but when meat it tender and flavorless it is synonymous to eating soggy white bread straight from the package.
There are times when I eat a dish and somehow upon first bite I get a glimpse of the chef/cook. After eating these collards my first thought was this chef/cook is cooking for the public and not cooking from the belly. Somehow I refuse to believe that if I were eating those greens at the cooks home table they would taste the same. Somehow I am convinced that if I was eating these greens in his home, I would be smacking my jibs, licking my lips, relishing in the fact that I just ate a delicious vegetable without feeling like I ate a vegetable and requesting a second helping.
Yes it is true that you want the masses to enjoy your food, yes you want to make food that bypasses people dietary restrictions, but when you cook for the masses and not from your gut, somehow the love is lost, somehow the passion is not integrated, that somewhere it was forgotten that when people eat good food no matter the dietary restrictions it speaks to the soul, and at the end of the day isnt that what soul food is supposed to do?
Cook from the gut Soul Truck, cook from your belly🍴