Haitian cuisine is like the flowing together of two or three streams and rivers. It is a confluence of many culinary styles. It is a spicy combination of African, French, Spanish, and Amerindian cooking traditions. Now that Haiti has become ‘the Republic of NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations), there is also the influence of food traditions from other countries of the world. Haiti has a rich culinary history. Haitian cooks or chefs prepare dishes that are not only delectable to the eyes but also to the palate.
Everyday the chic restaurants of Port-au-Prince, Delmas, Petionville, Kenskoff, Jacmel, Cap-Haitien, Jeremie, Les Cayes, Petit-Goave, Grand-Goave, Hinche, Gonaives, St Marc etc are busy with well-offs, diplomats, NGO professionals, bureaucrats, government officials, and tourists. Wherever you go in Haiti, you will find these amazing eateries that serve specialities such as akra (Malanga fritters), pate or flaky Haitian patties, pikliz or spicy coleslaw, pickled slaw, (pickled shredded cabbage, carrots, onions, shallots, and habanero peppers), griot or fried pork, diri kole ak pwa rouj or red beans with rice, Poulet en sauce, chicken and gravy, legumes (a traditional Haitian dish of braised vegetables and meat such as beef and turkey, pork, crabs, ribs, conch meat, and the favorite oxtail cooked for two (2) hours); Ji papay or papaya juice; other tropical and exotic fruits and vegetables such as cachiman kebek (anona reticulate, mamon in Spanish, Bullock’s heart, custard apple), guanabana or corosol etc.
You will have an opportunity to experience Creole cooking and lifestyle. Creole cooking represents the combination of French, Spanish, African, and indigenous Amerindian cuisines.
Labapen (Creole) / Châtaigne (French) / Chestnuts (English): Haitian chestnuts are roasted and boiled and eaten as a snack.
Kachiman (Creole) / Cachiman (French) / Custard Apple (English) – Native to Haiti’s Taino and Arawak Indians, this fruit is the finest and most flavorful fruit of the region.
Franbwaz (Creole) / Framboise (French) / Dewberry – It is a Haitian raspberry. It is eaten fresh and used to make preserves.
Djon-Djon Mushrooms are tiny black brown mushrooms which have an exquisite aroma. When soaked in water, they release a black coloring which gives rice and meats a distinctive color, aroma, and flavor.
Berejèn (Creole) / Aubergine (French) / Eggplant – Haitians use eggplant in meat and seafood dishes called Legumes / Legim (creole). The Arabs and Persians brought them to Africa. Then the Europeans brought them and the African slaves to Hispanola during the the slave trade.