Our advanced English class was tasked with writing an essay about something that is important to them - and to document it with a roll of film and a disposable camera. We loved every bit of reading their work, and what it reveals about the beauty of Haitian culture and the people we get to work with.
Every country in the world can be recognized and represented by what’s on a plate.
Just as we can recognize Italy by its pastas and pizzas, so can Haiti be recognized by its original Haitian patty stuffed with meat, veggies, and sauce. Patties are usually eaten in the morning and can be enjoyed with a hard-boiled egg, spicy sauce, and a banana.
Haiti has a variety of foods unique to our culture, like tontonm, which is made from breadfruit with okra sauce, and tchaka, which has a base made from corn and beans.
Some typical foods listed on our daily menus are: Cornmeal with beans and fish sauce, soups made with bread and leafy greens, Akasan, which is a smooth and creamy breakfast item, stews made with tender goat meat, and yams and cassava with sauce.
Some foods come from our African origins, and some come from the cultures of countries who had colonized our island, like our pumpkin soup that we make every January.
Some say that when our ancestors were slaves, they used to watch as their oppressors drank the soup from the pumpkins that they had labored over, and when the slaves became free, they drank the soup in triumph, in light of their victory over their former masters. So this is why on our independence day, on January 1st, all Haitians here in Haiti, and around the world eat pumpkin soup.
Our spices have such flavor and foreigners always testify to how exceptional everything tastes. Each province in Haiti has its own specialty, and the different dishes are countless.