By Brendan Martin Coyne.
Ever find yourself day-dreaming about fresh, flavorful Caribbean meals? Think Jamaican jerk spice, or an Islander’s local homemade sauce, made according to a family recipe that goes back generations. Haitian epis, a spicy, plant-based seasoning, is just what you need to bring your mind, body, and soul out of the winter doldrums!
Mirbentz Jean Francois is bringing a bit of Haitian cuisine to America, right here in southeastern Massachusetts: Brockton, to be exact. Mirbentz learned from his mother at an early age how to procure the ingredients for and prepare Haitian epis, a traditional paste or sauce that seasons many dishes in Haitian culture. Completely plant-based, the ingredients vary, but usually contain a blend of pepper, garlic, onion, shallot, leeks, and other herbs. Haitian epis, Mirbentz says, will “spice up your life!”
His epis became so popular in his church and local community that Mirbentz founded the company Did You Eat, LLC, which now distributes up to 300 jars weekly. In addition, Mirbentz has amassed over 18,000 followers on Instagram where he cooks and demonstrates his recipes and techniques, including how to use epis effectively in various Haitian dishes.
As a maker and lover of soups, stews, and chowders, I am looking forward to trying this out in several applications to spice up the spring!
Did You Eat, LLC
Brockton, Massachusetts 02301