By: Pierre-Carlyn Merceus
I am of Haitian descent and for that reason I shall introduce you to a typical Haitian meal called “griot”, but first, I will tell you a little bit about my food culture. Haitian food is a perfect representation of how a multitude of influences can affect a country’s. Indeed, Haitian food is a mix of African, American, Arabic and French food and most of these influences come from the time Haiti was colonized. Furthermore, because of Haiti’s hot climate, its foods include a diversity of tropical fruits and vegetables. A noteworthy aspect of Haitian diet is that there is a high dose of carbohydrates and fat.
A contrast between North Americans and Haitians is that in North America, the largest meal is served during the evening at supper, but in Haiti, the lunch break at noon is the most important part of the day. Another way in which Haitian food culture is different from North American is in the importance Haitians give to a healthy breakfast. In Haiti, breakfasts are small and sometimes skipped and one of its typical components is coffee (even children are allowed to drink it). In my family, as in most Haitian families, eating right means maintaining a hefty bodyweight and slimness for them is a sign of illness. This is why older Haitian males and females tend to be overweight when they reach adulthood. But some of these beliefs get somewhat lost when Haitian-born people immigrate to more modernized countries and I am the perfect example of that.
I chose griot because it is the most popular Haitian dish there is and most Non-Haitians associate our food culture with this dish. It is fried marinated pork with hot spices.
- 2 pounds of pork, cut in cubes
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- ¼ cup of chives, chopped
- ½ cup of lime juice
- pinch of thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Mix all the ingredients in bowl for a few hours.
2. Heat some oil, brown meat, then add marinade and simmer over low heat 30 minutes covered.
3. Remove lid and increase heat to eliminate any liquid. Serve hot.