Most wouldn’t think of eating the meat from a goat head, let alone make a soup of the parts.
In Jamaican culture this is it. You have to have this. Starting by smoking the goat head and then boiling it in a process that is similar to making any great soup of stew — low and slow.
Owner Colin Gregg of Irie-I Jamaican American Cafe takes great pride in serving his roots via mannish water aka goat head soup.
As the first bite hits my palate all my preconceived notions fluttered away. I was hit by a wall of lip-smacking complexity. Suddenly everything that Colin was hyping up mannish water to be came to fruition. I was immediately a fan, of Colin and the nosh coming out of his kitchen.
But wait, there’s more.
Daringly, I asked for something I should have never asked for.
Nerves kicking in, sweat dripping, a tightness takes over the back of my throat. In my mind, I should have never put that scotch bonnet pepper in my soup.
“I would have been fine without it,” my inner narrative cries out. The pepper finally releases it’s Darth Vader choke hold around my trachea and I am back to enjoying the flavor levels in this slow cooked bowl of head meat and vegetables.
The scotch bonnet wasn’t all that bad but my dinning partner Colin neglected to inform me that you remove them.
My first goat head soup experience was fantastic, Colin and Irie-I Jamaican American cafe defiantly has a fan now.
Don’t leave the peppers in, don’t be like me.