Our rezen are actually mulberries
Dear readers, I am back. Yes, finally. I apologize for my long absence.
This month marks two years since I first started writing this blog. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and apologize for neglecting to share these tasty anecdotes related to my Haiti with you since the beginning of the year. I hope you won’t hold it against me for too long.
To celebrate this two-year accomplishment, I am writing an update to one of the very first articles published on Tchakayiti two years ago.
Those of you who’ve been reading me since the beginning will recall my Wild berries? Berries? “Rezen” article; an article in which I speak of my long walks to Kenscoff; hikes which almost always included handpicking wild berries from the side of the road. Within that same article, I briefly mention a variety of berries which real name I did not know as I had always referred to them as “rezen” just like the abitan of Kenscoff did. My best explanation for that name is that these berries look like tiny bunches of grapes, and grape is rezen in Haitian Creole.
A couple of days ago, I finally had the joy, thanks to this blog, of finding out through one of our Instagram followers that these rezen of ours are actually mulberries.
Mulberries grow on a tree with frail but tall branches that are often unreachable, so unreachable that our infamous birds get to enjoy most of its fruits before us humans. Our orchard is really a treasure for those birds. Depending on the season, they get to enjoy peaches, mandarins, apples, loquat, and now mulberries, courtesy of our #LakouLakay!
This year, our family of feathered visitors who prey on our fruits grew to include a bird better known under the name “mom.”
Yes, I just referred to my mom as a bird! Afterall, she’s been taking our rezen from the tree just like the birds! She’s been picking unripe mulberries to make her famous tranpe, a macerated fruit drink, which I spoke of before on this blog.
Thanks to her, several mulberry harvests are now trapped in a bottle filled with Haitian rum and white sugar! Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have anything against tranpe. On the contrary, I love sipping some on ice. However, I do prefer to eat freshly handpicked rezen straight from the tree instead of having to wait weeks for them to be fully macerated, especially since my mother will not let anyone taste her tranpe until she decides it’s ready!
Indeed, a few days ago, I was denied a sampling shot as I tried to convince her that, since she had handpicked so many unripe fruits from the tree, she should at least extend me the courtesy of letting me taste her tranpe.
Empty-handed, I decided to lead a fight against both my mother and the birds. I now go straight to the tree myself and reach for the few fruits that manage to escape our greedy birds and mother by hiding in our thick grass once they fall off the tree.
These berries are the joy of my afternoons, so much so that I find myself wishing they could be in season all year long.
This is one of the reasons I partially forgive my mother for having trapped so many mulberries in a bottle. With her tranpe, I will be able to enjoy those mulberries even when they’re off season!