Nothing is more important than human sharing.
I was reminded of this when a wonderful and classy dentist by the name of Dr. Heather Dawn Lawson-Myers visited us from Jamaica last month. She left us with the beautiful and thoughtful work you see below. If you visit us at Ultradent, you’ll see it hanging in the upper level of our reception area by the piano with a letter and description from Dr. Lawson-Myers An excerpt is listed here (Oh, and I do pride myself in saying from time to time that “I’m a farmer first”.)
Hello Farmer Dan, I hope that you and your family have been enjoying this wonderful summer. Here is a painting of one of the favorite Jamaican foods – Roast Breadfruit. I have sent you a little information on it and hopefully when you return to Jamaica (as a Jamerican) you will be able to taste it. Thanks again for a wonderful time during my visit to Utah. I’ll keep you, Jaleena and your family in a special place in my heart. Your genuine kindness will always be remembered. The picture of the mountains of Utah is etched in my pleasant memory box! Thanks again for a wonderful time.
Dr. Heather Dawn Lawson-Myers
Breadfruit is used more like a vegetable than a fruit. However, it doesn’t matter what you or I may call it because when it’s ripened it does have a sweet taste. So, at different stages of its development you use this delicious tree vegetable/fruit for one purpose or another, and choose to call it what you will….vegetable before it’s ripe and fruit when ripened. We have a little name for it though…Bresheh, Yah Mon!
As the history goes, it was brought to Jamaica from Tahiti by Captain Williams Bligh on his second voyage to the South Pacific in 1793. His main reason for introducing breadfruit to Jamaica was to feed the slaves. But, the slaves did not like the taste, so the fruit/vegetable just stayed there and grew uncontrolled and meaningless for awhile; it was mainly fed to hogs. Well, the years went by and people became interested in this fruit/vegetable, and the ball started to roll, so to speak.
Now, everybody loves breadfruit in Jamaica. We use it in many different ways to make breakfast, dinner, snacks, etc. We also add it to soups, and of course to make chips. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, fried or made into a drink called punch. Some people even use the leaves as a remedy for headaches.
How can one vegetable/fruit hold so much meaning for so many? What was passed on to the slaves and used to feed hogs has now become a “prized” staple among Jamaicans. If history has taught us anything, it is to appreciate how different cultures develop rich traditions that carry on for a lifetime. This reminded me of how important it is to be considerate and mindful of what is meaningful for others. I couldn’t accept the gift from Heather without a promise to share the lesson learned.