Photo Credit: Joumou Haitian Squash Soup is served every year on the 1st of January as the Haitian nation celebrate its Independence closeup in the plate on the table. horizontal top view from above
5 Local Foods To Try In Haiti And The History Behind Them
Haitian meals are known for their bold flavors, intense spices, and of course fresh ingredients. But it’s more than just a meal. Much of the food has some history behind its creation which makes it a culturally rich culinary experience.
Here are just a few of the bites to enhance your Haitian getaway.
This popular Haitian dish consists of pork which has been washed in citrus, marinated in a blend of spices, braised, and then fried. It is typically served with pikliz (pickled veggies) in addition to rice or bannann peze (twice-fried plantain). Griot, coupled with rice and beans, is considered the national dish of Haiti.
A bit of history: The citrus was a way to wash the meat because of a lack of fresh water in Haiti, but now the custom has been kept to add the right amount of zest to the dish.
Lambi is truly a Haitian delicacy. If you enjoy fresh seafood, then you will love this conch meat. It is best prepared shortly after being caught to retain the elasticity and tenderness. The resulting stew is chock-full of flavor thanks to the fresh herbs and spices, peppers, garlic, and onion.
3. Diri ak djon djon
This is literally translated into rice with mushrooms. But this is not just a basic dish. Djon Djon is a black mushroom found in Haiti, particularly in the northern region. The mushroom is soaked overnight to extract the black liquid that will give the rice its dark coloring. Vegetables, rice, shrimp, and spices can be added to this meal. Djon djon is a bit pricey, so this meal usually makes an appearance on special occasions.
4. Soup Joumou
Joumou is more than just a pumpkin soup. This was a meal reserved solely for white masters during slavery. When Haitians gained their independence from French colonizers in 1804, word is that the soup was consumed immediately by the celebrants. It remains a symbol of liberation and continues to be served on Independence Day which also happens to be New Year’s Day.
The tangy dish is essentially veggies like carrots, onions, cucumbers, and shredded cabbage which have been thrown into a jar with vinegar, garlic, and onion to ferment. Pikliz is a derivative of the French word piquer which means to sting or burn, so it’s pretty intense.