There is so much history in Haitian Cuisine...
Do you have a meal you love to eat once a week? Or a meal you prepare for celebrations? My grandmother makes egg rolls for my birthday every year. It takes her hours to get everything cooked just right, and as the smell fills the house, I feel the love she has for me.
Just like my birthday meal, there is a lot of meaning behind Haitian cuisine. It is a blend of African, Spanish, native Caribbean, and French Colonial cooking styles, which shows the innovation and resilience of Haiti.
Photo Cred: savorythoughts.com
Haitian food is very savory and flavorful! It is not known to be spicy, but seasoned well. This DIY recipe will be educational and fun for you and your family! Though this particular recipe is made with beef kielbasa, this Haitian dish is usually made with herring, hot dogs, or cod.
This dish is nostalgic for everyone raised in a Haitian home. For the full experience, follow the link below, and add some ketchup before you dig in!
Excerpt - This pasta recipe can be prepared in advance and continued to be enjoyed over the next few days. Cook the pasta in accordance to the box but al dente. Meanwhile, in a heated oiled pan, cook the sausage. Once all of the sausage pieces are cooked, in the same pan, add half of the onions, garlic, and half of the bell peppers. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the tomato paste, mix well. Drain the pasta but reserve two cups of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sausage and onion mixture, then top with salt and pepper, the remaining half of the bell peppers, herbs and Epis. (Source: savorythoughts.com)
In appreciating Haitian cuisines, I’d like to share an interesting method of preparing meat for Haitian households without refrigeration.
Remove the feathers, skin, fat, and heel of the chicken.
Scrub the meat with sliced limes and place each individual piece into a bowl.
Boil a pot of water and pour over the chicken pieces in the bowl. Once every piece of meat is covered, let it sit for 30-45 seconds.
Examine the meat to ensure there is no remaining fat, drain it, and then rinse it with cool water.
Lastly, add lime juice and seasoning to the meat.
The lime and boiling water works in tandem to halt and kill bacteria from accumulating on the meat. Though not always necessary, depending on your country’s slaughtering process, this adds a distinct flavor to your food. So if you have the time, implement this cleaning process in your next chicken dish. You may never turn back!
There is so much history in Haitian cuisine, and we are proud to serve the people of Port-au-Prince. If you would like to stay connected with our progress, please visit our monthly blogs and subscribe to our email updates of our mission and impact. Support us here! We ask that you keep our administrators, students, and volunteers in your thoughts and prayers as they work tirelessly in Haiti, and aid our mission through your supportive words and donations.
Fun Facts about Haiti!
Accra, also known as akra, is a popular Haitian snack made from balls of deep-fried, seasoned dough. It is soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside! (Kind of like hush puppies!)
The National Anthem of Haiti is known as “La Dessalinienne”. Its name is after the Haitian revolutionist and first ruler, Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
Did you know Haiti’s preservation methods of meat was the origin of what we know as barbeque today? Now you do! (bonus points if you read this in our email!)
About the Author:
Dominique Cannon has recently graduated from Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater Oklahoma with a Bachelor's and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She has remained on campus as an administrative-assistant for the last three years and is very excited to join Dare Humanity as an organizational development intern. She hopes to use her writing and administrative skills to support Dare Humanity's mission, and looks forward to growing her skills in marketing and grant research. In her free time, she enjoys reading, singing, and serving as a youth pastor at her church!