Poetry by Charles Joseph

Ji kowosòl 🥛

What is your favorite drink?

I do not have a favorite drink, but I do have a favorite “type” of drink!

My favorite types of drinks are the ones with milk as one of the main ingredients in them. I love the rich, dense texture and taste that milk gives to drinks. The drink, then, has a personality. It has something very heavy on its mind, and it is not reluctant to make you aware of that.

I wouldn’t consider milk-based drinks to be “thick”. Milkshakes are thick but that is due to the ice scream used to make it. “Milky” drinks are what I consider to be liquid that have a bold presence. Juice—apple juice, for example—would be a liquid…and that’s it. It gushes into your mouth and pours down your throat but, before you know it, it is gone. You may have the taste in your mouth for a few seconds but, very soon, saliva will wash that away too. Now, it is gone from your memory, too. Milk-based drinks are different. They hold on to you and linger in your memory. They slide down quick enough to not be a bother, but, after their disappearance, you will think about that personality. I like that about milk drinks. They have a very strong personality.

Although there are a lot of drinks that I’ve really liked, the most memorable milk-based drink that I’ve had was in Haiti. The drink is called “Ji Kowosòl”, or Soursop Juice. Soursop has this natural milk-like taste to it. When that is blended with milk, brown sugar, lakay, and cinnamon, the taste is something that your soul will never forget.

I haven’t had ji kowosòl since I left Haiti in 2008. One day in the summer of 2021, I was doing my weekly grocery shopping in the neighborhood’s supermarket when I came across a strangely-shaped container in the juice section. It had a dark green plastic wrap around it, and the bottle had small bumps on it. After observantly turning it in my palm, feeling it, and analyzing the container—oh my GOD—I realized what that strangely-shaped juice bottle was imitating! It was KOWOSÒL! The container was the shape of a soursop—thus why it had bumps on it! Before you judge me by saying that I could’ve just read what was written on it, let me admit that I DID see the word “Soursop” on the plastic, but remember that before that moment I had never seen that fruit or anything relating to it anywhere in the States. Therefore, I never bothered to find out its name in English because what is the point? It’s nowhere to be found.

I threw the container into my shopping cart, payed for everything, then practically skipped home with the biggest grin on my face—ecstatic taste it! Of course, it wasn’t the ji kowosòl that left me in awe every single time I had it as a child in Haiti. The drink was exactly what it promised on the wrapping; soursop purée that is not blended with cultural creativity—sour, sweet, gooey, fleshy, and a bit tarty. Nonetheless, the reminder of a taste that my soul has secretly been yearning for 13 years was enough to make a tear swell up as my memory brings back the joy a little boy would feel upon sipping a cool glass of Ji Kowosòl on a hot day, on a Caribbean island.

17 responses to “Ji kowosòl 🥛”

  1. As someone who doesn’t like the taste of milk and is lactose intolerant, I found your blog made me smile. I liked the way you described milky drinks as ones with personality. That was really cool.

    1. Wow, this warms my heart to read, wow. I like that I was able to put a smile on your face 🙂 I have to admit, milk by itself is not my favorite taste in the world, but once I mix that milk with something else oooohhh mmmyyy gggooodddd the taste makes me airborne! Thank you so much for letting me know how this post impacted you and what you liked about it. I love personification! And by the way, chai tea with some oat milk (if you dare, you can add some matcha powder in it too) served hot is nectar from heaven I SWEAR TO GOD!!! It’ll be one of the best (and healthiest) drinks you’ve had :). Much love 💕

  2. I love love soursop, but, it’s so expensive in Australia.. The taste of it just brings back the happiest part of my childhood.. That and boiled peanuts still in its shell LOL

    1. YOU HAVE TO GO BUY SOME SOURSOP ON MY BEHALF!! SCREW THE PRICE!!! I’ve never had boiled peanuts still in its shell. I’ve had roasted peanuts and peanuts left under the sun for multiple days 😍 😍 😍 😍

      1. Ha ha, now the effort of driving more than half an hour to buy them LOL not worth the price and I have no idea where one can buy peanuts fresh from the garden.. :))

        1. You can do the drive with your family. Call it a family day trip TO GO GET SOURSOP WOOOHHOOO!!! 🥳🥳🥳

          1. Ha ha cute, adult children are not interested in family outing yeah 🙃

            1. So here’s the plan: have your HUSBAND reach out to each of them and say something like this, “hey your mother is organizing an outing for all of us to go on together. We can’t get out of this one, I’ve already tried haha. But it’d be nice to get the team together and go do something together. I’ve already talked to [insert other siblings names here] and they’re on board so we’re just waiting for you to join and we’ll be complete. We’d have everyone together” (if they say no, have daddyo say “okay I see. But if anything changes, let me know okay? Your mother would REALLY appreciate it”) THEN IMMEDIATELY AFTER GETTING OFF THE PHONE, he has to call the other siblings and say THE EXACT SAME THING (especially the part about the other siblings being on board/interested in going). If anything resists and says no, call them a free days later/closer to the event to see if they changed their mind.

              Make sure you also have a potential date in mind for the event because they will ask. Or, when they ask, have hubby say “we’re still finalizing the date, but what date would work best for you?? 👀👀👀”

              1. They’re not 5, they’re your age, I can’t promise anything kiddo, but, I actually do not want to leave the house unless it’s for work or visit my parent. Let you know yeah.. I’m THE true hermit. 😉

                1. Oooohhhhh okay so now i see what the real problem is 🙄 booo!!! 👎🏾

            2. OOOOORRRRRRRR the other plan is to GO FULL ON DECEIVING by calling a family meeting, say it’s an emergency, and when they all show up say you miss them and wanna spend time together. SO LETS GO BUY EXPENSIVE SOURSOP!!! They’ll be disappointed but it’ll be funnyyyttt

            3. Let me know how it works out! I’m so excited for this!!!

              1. ha ha, might be a while CHILD!

  3. Cappuccino with frooed hot milk

    1. Oooohhhh I’ve never had that before. I might have to add it to the list!

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