What to Eat in Haiti

Before I visited Haiti I was curious about what Haitian cuisine might taste like. I ignorantly assumed it would be unusual ingredients and strange meats I wasn’t used to. Haitians actually don’t like strange foods and they would rather eat food that is familiar, wholesome and nutritional.

I was pleasantly surprised at my food experience in Haiti – it was homestyle comfort food with lots of flavourful spices and tradition, which is usually the kind of food I go for anyway. Here are some of the Haitian food I really liked (and devoured) while I was in Haiti.

Mayi Moulen

A Haitian staple, mayi moulen is mashed corn with beans and chicken. It’s thick and creamy and the best kind is always homemade. We ate mayi moulen a lot from Lolo’s, down the street by our communitere. This take-out container didn’t last very long.

Mayi Moulen

Black beans and mashed corn from Lolo’s

Banann Peze

Plantains are everywhere in Haiti since they’re easy to cook and eat. They’re usually served fried and crispy, on the side of different meats like pork, chicken and goat.

Pwason Boukannen

One of my first memories of Haiti was eating pwason boukannen while I tanned my butt off on the sand. It’s succulent grilled white fish, caught fresh by the fisherman and cooked in front of you right on the beach!

Haitian food

Fried plantains with grilled fish right from the fisherman

Avocado

Haitians love their avocados – an important staple in the Haitian diet since they are packed with lots of protein, vitamins and caloric nutrients. If you’re lucky enough to be in Haiti while these guys are in-season, they’re deliciously buttery and creamy, usually served on the side with meat, or diri kole for breakfast.

Diri Kole

Another Haitian staple and a national dish is rice and beans. Like much of Haitian cuisine, it has evolved over time with colonial influences from the Spanish, French, and Africans. When you order diri kole the rice always has a nice kick of spice to it and the beans are hearty and so flavourful.

Haitian food

Rice and beans with avocado

Tablèt Pistach

The first time I had a tablèt pistach it was in a deliciously gooey, peanut butter cookie-form from Willio’s mom! It’s made of fruits or nuts (or a dozen other variations) and stirred into caramelized sugar cane. I guess, how nutella was my childhood staple, the tablèt is a must for any Haitian kid.

Tchakayiti.com has a tasty recipe for tablet

Tchakayiti.com has a tasty recipe for tablèt pistach

 

Prestige

Yep, Haiti has a national beer too! Mild and crisp, Prestige is the most popular beer in Haiti (it’s everywhere!). Locals are especially proud of it because it’s home grown and they can call it their own. It’s easy to spot – Prestige is blue and red, the colours of the Haitian flag. My friends tell me the best way to drink a bottle is with good company.

Drinking Prestige with the students (after school hours of course!)

Enjoying some Prestige with the students (after school hours of course!)

 

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