Haiti is a country with a rich past that is filled with cultural diversity. Ever since the English settlers colonized the Caribbean islands hundreds of years ago, the Haitian dishes have been influenced some what around European cuisine. However, many of the traditional Haitian ingredients and spices are still included in these dishes.
Some people describe Haitian dishes as relatively simple and easy to prepare. In some respects, it is true because Haitians basically use vegetables and spices in a lot of their dish recipes. They are particularly big on spicing up food and making it taste extra tingly when it’s in your mouth. Haitian dishes keep up with the tropical and Caribbean traditions of spicy cuisine.
Are you curious to learn about some of the best Haitian dishes? Below are the top five Haitian dishes for your consideration. You can either try them out when you visit Haiti or you can prepare them yourself at home with the recipe in hand.
1) Haitian Tchaka
Tchaka is a type of Haitian stew that includes red beans, dried corn, smoked pork, pork legs, and squash. Some people like to eat tchaka with a side of pickles too. That is optional, of course. The main thing to remember is to serve tchaka hot. The cooking time is rather long, even though it is easy to mix the ingredients together. You’re supposed to simmer the mixture on low heat in a pot.
2) Bouillon Soup
If you like soups with a lot of thick and tasty ingredients, then you should try the Bouillon Soup dish. It is a wonderful Haitian soup that includes kelp, yams, meat, potatoes, plantains, cabbage, celery, and scotch bonnet peppers. You have the option to make it with small dumplings if you’d like as well.
The word “bouillon” is derived from “bouillir,” which is a French word that means “to boil.” The reason it has this name is simple. You’re supposed to serve the soup extra hot.
Griot is an interesting combination of pork meat cubes and sweet and spicy marinade. Some of the ingredients of the marinade include lime, onions, and chile peppers. You first simmer the pork meat cubes until they’re tender. After that, you fry them in a frying pan or skillet on the stove.
Traditionally, high class Haitians would eat this food dish because pork meat was so rare and expensive back in the old days. Now it is not so rare because of globalization and trade with other countries.
4) Haitian Patties
Caribbean patties are basically pastries with meat inside of them. They can be prepared and cooked in so many different ways. Haitians like to prepare their patties with a variety of meat ingredients, such as fish, pork, chicken, and beef. Sometimes beans and rice may be used in them as well. The great thing about Haitian pastries is that they can be prepared differently each time. It all depends on which ingredients the cook wants to use and how much of those ingredients they want to use.
5) Makawoni au Graten
Makawoni au graten is very similar to macaroni and cheese. The main difference has to do with their noodles. You won’t see the traditional elbow macaroni in this dish. Instead, makawoni au graten is more of a pasta style dish that uses rigatoni, penne, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper, and mayonnaise. On top of that, grated cheddar or parmesan is sprinkled onto it.
There are many other wonderful Haitian dishes to try out. If you love tropical foods with meats, spices, and vegetables, then you will love almost all Haitian dishes. Start with these five dishes and if you like them, try out some more.