I had never heard of mud cookies before. I remember hearing that starving people will eat mud to stave off hunger, but I never imagined that an industry around mud-food could arise.
With the recent earthquakes has come a renewed interest in Haiti’s past, present and future troubles. I saw a picture of a Haitian woman prepping mud cookies in a newspaper article and was flabbergasted. Apparently, the edible mud is sifted to remove rocks, then mixed with salt and shortening, shaped into disks and dried in the sun.
In an article from msnbc.com, one sixteen year old girl, Charlene, says this about mud cookies:
“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,” Dumas said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the 6 pounds, 3 ounces he weighed at birth.
Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. “When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too,” she said.
Oh, and FYI: Haiti’s mud cookie industry isn’t a new phenomenon. The msnbc article above was published in January of 2008. The website HaitiAction.net has an article and several pictures taken in 2008, like this one of women preparing mud cookies: