Saturday, January 7, 2012

7th Way to Discover Haiti: Food... Food... Food...

One way of learning more about a culture or country is to taste the authentic delicacies and traditional dishes enjoyed by the people. I love food and I wanted to learn more about Haitian food so I went on a search, I hope you enjoy what I have found, I even have a recipe for you to try to prepare one of the many delicious Haitian foods.

Did you know?

In Haiti, you find several dishes and recipe variations. Each region has a special dish, like the famous "Tonmtonm" recipe - a mix of breadfruit with okra from Jeremie city.

No matter the city's recipe, though, rice remains a big part of the country's diet. Haitians reserve some rice dishes, like "Diri ak djondjon" - black rice - for special occasions such as weddings or christenings. I just had it for the first time today. The mini shrimps that were mixed in made this dish divine.

Another very popular haitian dish is griot - fried cubed pork. I included the recipe for you to enjoy.

Haitian Griot Recipe

2 pounds pork shoulder, chopped in cubes
Juice of 3 sour oranges
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of chopped chives
pinch of thyme
1/4 teaspoon of parsley
1/4 teaspoon green pepper
1 Jamaican pepper

1. Take the sour oranges, cut them in half. Squeeze them and put the juice in one cup. Don't throw away the squeezed halves, since you'll need them soon.

2. Place the pork, cut in cubes, in one bowl. Add salt to the meat.

3. Now, use the squeezed pulp to rub the meat, so you get it soaked in a salty, zesty orange mixture. In some recipes, they'll tell you to let it marinate overnight; but all Haitian grandmas will tell you that if you want your Griot right away, you got to take the proper measures for that.

4. Rinse the meat with water (Please a little trust, here! If you skip this part, your griot might end up too salty.)

5. Put the washed-pork meat, the orange juice (Yes, remember you squeezed it in a cup, right?), the salt and all the remaining ingredients from the list in a pan. Leave the Jamaican pepper uncut since you don't want it to be too spicy.

6. Add enough water to boil everything. (Not too much water, just enough to cover the meat in the pan)

7. Dab the boiled pork meat with a knife, if it pulls out easily, it's a sign that the meat is ready.

8. Drain everything.

9. Now, get ready to start the griot process! Place the pork chunks in some heated oil and simmer for half an hour over low, covered heat.

10. Then, uncover and turn up the heat until the chunks dry up and show a golden color.

11. Serve hot.

If you want to leave the cooking to the pros, then check out these Haitian restaurants in LA, NY and Miami:

Le Soleil Restaurant
21 reviewsRating Details
877 10th Ave
(between 57th St & 58th St)
New York, NY 10019

Tap Tap Haitian Restaurant
819 5th Street,
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tigeorges' Chicken
309 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Just a thought...

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in other; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

- Audrey Hepburn

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