Let’s Speak Haitian Food

You can smell, taste, and see that there’s nothing else in this world quite like Haitian Food – Manje Aysiyen. Our food is related to our culture, identity, and history. It’s unique in its spices, preparations, and taste.

Food has a way of bringing people together. If you look over the course of your life, you will notice that the most meaningful moments usually occurred over meals. Relationships are built, ideas are shared and exchanged, and memories are created over meals.

As I have mentioned, my earliest memory is that of when I was a child where my family and I visited our grandmother in Haiti one summer. Just one taste of Mayi Moulen and Sòs Pwa Nwa takes me back to that moment in time. Food has a way of bringing back memories, and I know I am not the only one who experience this type of phenomenon.

Below you will read over 50 voices from the Haitian Diaspora who contributed their personal stories of their favorite Haitian meals and memories. Collectively, we all share similar experiences even though we grew up in different generations and/or countries. No matter where we are in the world, we celebrate our rich and vibrant culture through its cuisine.

My favorite Haitian meal is Diri Djon Djon ak Tassot Turkey (Black Mushroom Rice with Turkey). Some of my fond memories of eating Haitian food included family gatherings and holidays. My family and I are originally from New York, and although all of us have moved to different places over the years, I can’t help but reflect on how significant of a role Haitian food had in our expressions to one another.

When my grandparents were still alive, all family functions were done at their home and a lot of my cherished memories took place between those walls. The richness and cultural aspects incorporated into Haitian food has definitely impacted the person I am today.

As a Haitian woman, it was expected for me to learn how to cook, specifically “Haitian Food.” As my grandmother would say, “Fo’w Kon Fe Manje Ayisien! (You have to know how to cook Haitian food!).” I’m truly grateful for my experiences and look forward to sharing my love and respect for Haitian food with my family and generations to come.

Franchesca Fontus, Writer

My favorite Haitian meal is baked fish and yams. I remember that whenever my mother and grandmother cooked, the smell always embodied the entire neighborhood.

Jean Appolon,
Co-founder/Artistic Director of Jean Appolon Expressions

Espageti Ak Aransò (Spaghetti with Herring) is my favorite Haitian dish. It’s my little piece of home. Although other cultures have their own versions of this dish, no one does it quite like Haitians. Growing up, this dish was a staple in our house. We ate it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a dish that can be found in any Haitian household no matter what social class you belong to. I’ve even given the traditional recipe my own twist.

My most memorable time of eating Haitian food was dinners with my mother on Sundays. I was raised by a single mom, who owned her own business and did not have time to cook during the week when I was growing up. She left the cooking to our cook.

But Sundays… Sundays were special because every Sunday my mother would cook us dinner. She would make up her menu, go shopping for her ingredients, come home, and put together some of the most delicious food that I have ever had. That was the birthplace of my food journey. I would watch her prep, put it all together, and then we would set the table, sit down, and have dinner together when it was all done.

Until this day, when I go home, my mom still makes Sunday dinners. Although I’ve learned most of the recipes and made them my own, I still watch her prep and put together our Sunday dinners as only she can.

Nyska Merisier-Desarmes, Hair & Makeup Artist

My dad owned a sugar cane plantation when I was very young so we drank the juice as water during meals. I wonder if maybe that is where I got my love for sweets. It seems that breakfast sticks in my mind more than any other meal. Childhood memories come in dribs and drabs, sort of like flashes or snips of a movie, but the one that lingers more is having avocado and bread (like a squaring roll) for breakfast with a cup of Akasan (Cornmeal Drink) before heading out to school; or, having Haran Saur (Eggs with Herring) and a boiled unripe purple banana on the side.

Patricia Brintle, Artist

I love Haitian cuisine. I always wanted to open a restaurant. My favorite meal growing up was Diri Ak Pwa Vert (Rice with Green Peas). It’s still one of my favorite. Now that my Mom is gone, I love eating her favorite meal (which is White Rice with White Bean Sauce). I also love Smoked Herring in Sauce with Boiled Plantains. I just love Haitian food!

Rachel Charles, Owner of Rachel’s Sweet Confections

As a kid, my favorite Haitian dish was Banan Peze and Griot with Pikliz. There was this one time when my family and I were on a summer vacation in Marigot (a suburb in Jacmel). We enjoyed eating delicious Haitian food every day.

Ed Gehy, Professor

Everything about our culture is worthy of being preserved and passed on to the next generation. My favorite Haitian foods are: Griot ak Pikliz (Fried Pork with Coleslaw), Banan Peze (Fried Plantains), Zaboka (Avocado), Salad Leti-tomat (Lettuce-Tomato Salad), Diri Kole ak Pwa Rouj (Rice and Red Beans), and yon boutèy fwi kola (a bottle of Fruit Cola).

Dr. Mireille Lauture, Author

Haitian food played a big role in bringing my family together. We always had so many great cooks, especially my mom. My most memorable time eating Haitian food has to be Thanksgiving. There’s just so much! My favorite dishes are Potato Salad, Diri Kole ak Pwa Roug (Rice and Red Beans), Legume, and so much more! I also love our soups – Bouyon, Doumbrey, and, of course, Soup Joumou.

Farrah M. J. Louis, Journalist

Actually, I’m not Haitian – but after working so closely with Jean, I think I could count as an honorary Haitian! I love Akra (Taro Root Fritters) and Pikliz (Coleslaw) and so many other Haitian foods. I think Haitian food is one of the best cuisines in the world and one of Haiti’s great treasures!

Stephanie Scherpf,
Executive Director of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE)

I love Fritay aka Fried Foods, i.e. Griot (Fried Pork), Banan Peze (Fried Plantains), etc. There’s absolutely not a more adequate appetizer for me. There’s never any guilt in eating these fried delights with a side of Pikliz (Coleslaw)!

I will never forget having Fritaille in the beach the first time I went to Haiti. I’ve never witnessed anything quite like it. I thought it was a festival for that day because music was playing, and different things were being sold in the area. However, it was just a normal day in Port Salut. There was so much culture. I loved it!

Fabiola Jean, Journalist

My favorite Haitian meal includes Black Mushroom Rice (Diri Djon-Djon), Beef, and Legume. My favorite Haitian snacks are Beef or Chicken Patties (Patés). My most memorable time of eating Haitian food was when my mom taught me how to make Patés from scratch and they were served at the party she was hosting. Everyone found the food I had made extra delicious. I had appreciated all that went into the preparation and was very proud to have my own labor be a part of the offerings.

Ingrid Austin Daniels,
Founder of Cornbread and Cremasse Haitian-American Blog

My favorite dish is Diri Djon-Djon. My mom makes it with shrimp. I also really like Fritay (Griot and Banan Peze) with some serious hot Pikliz.

My most memorable time eating Haitian food was during my first trip to Haiti. It was the mid-1990s, and I was a teenager. Back then, I wasn’t into Haitian culture at all. In fact, I didn’t even want to go on that trip. My family and I spent two weeks there and the trip was absolutely amazing. The food was DIVINE! Not only was everything absolutely delicious, but we toured the country. We visited Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, Cap Haitian, and the south. I got to experience the different regional dishes. Everything was super fresh. We often picked out the goat or pig that was to be dinner that night – and most importantly, the food was made with love.

There was one particular day that we were at my father’s aunt’s house in Gonaives and she made Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup). To this day, I still haven’t tasted a Soup Joumou that good! Even when we went to eat at restaurants, everything tasted different, but in a good way.

Haitian food was really my introduction into Haitian culture. It was my way of becoming more aware and a part of my culture and heritage. Haitian food taught me how to love and appreciate Haiti and myself.

Melissa P. Bernier, Attorney

I am a vegetarian, and it’s difficult to think of a Haitian dish that doesn’t contain meat. My meals include a mix salad, rice, and beans. I also like tropical fruits.

Joseph Makhandal Champagne, Attorney

I’ve always enjoyed eating Haitian food, but I fell in love with it in my pre-teen years. After tasting foods from many cultures, I realized that there was no flavor that can compare to Haitian food. Although many islands prepared similar dishes, Haitian food had an acquired taste. Even the preparation of the spices made an impact on the authenticity of the meal.

I realized that Haitian food was unique and I didn’t want to take it for granted. So, I made an effort to learn from my mother everything she knew about Haitian food so that my children can experience an authentic Haitian meal!

Mohan Jean-Mary, Hairstylist at MODIMEL Studios

I love Haitian food and I don’t really have a particular favorite dish, but I must tell you that plantains are used in very special dishes in Haiti. I personally like to prepare plantains in many different ways. I boil them, I fry them, and so on.

We also have different types of plantains that we grow in Haiti. For instance, we have po ban, miske, ponyak, fig dous, and fig sale. Po ban is a very important plantain in Haiti. It is known for good and substantial nutrients which satisfy hunger quickly, and strengthen the muscles and the bones.

Huguens Mercier, Author

I do like Griot and Patés. I had some in Haiti during my first visit there and they were amazing. I especially loved the pickled hot peppers that came with the Griot!

Abigail Lowe, Educator

In fact, Haitian food can be very healthy! I’m a vegetarian. I love Legume, Igname (yams), and anything that comes from the ground. I love Salad Zaboka (Avocado Salad). I also love Diri Djon-Djon. All Haitians love Black Mushroom Rice!

As a child, we used to eat a lot of Mayi Moulen (Cornmeal) with Sòs Pwa Nwa (Black Bean Sauce), but I only loved the sauce. Actually, I remember when I wasn’t gaining weight after having my son, and someone suggested that I should drink the Sòs Pwa because I needed iron. I actually did re-gain the weight!

Elsie Chery, Social Worker

Haitian food is very healthy because we take time to cook it. I like all kinds of Haitian food. I don’t have any particular favorite meal, but I like my chicken and I like my black rice. I love the spices as well.

Alix Chery, Realtor

I really like Fritay. Banan+Griot+Pikliz=Heaven. All plantains and Griot (Fried Pork) taste the same, but the magic is in the Pikliz (Coleslaw). It’s where the Fritay wins or fails. The best one I’ve ever had was in Jacmel. I had bought it from the last woman in the row of street vendors. It was so good! Sometimes, I just wanted a jar of the Pikliz, but they never wanted to sell it to me. I also love Diri Djon-Djon with some Piskett (those super small fishes that you find in the Jacmel area).

During my childhood, the electricity usually came back on around 8pm. From the end of the school day until then, I had nothing to do. My friends and I used to cook Lam Veritab (Breadfruit). I remember I made a hot sauce so hot that every guy who tried it was sweating even though there was a nice breeze!
There was this one time, we were at the beach. After cooking the Lam Veritab, some of the guys threw some of it from a cliff and we had to dive and swim to get it. Those were fun times.

A few years ago, I was in New York with some friends, and I wanted them to have an opportunity to taste Haitian food. I spent a nice chunk of change for some rice and beans and Fritay. I had this Korean friend who took a piece of fat off from the Griot, and he asked, “Is this a piece of fat?” I answered, “Yeah!”

Then, he ate it, and said, “It’s so good!” I looked at him dumbfounded, and thought, “In Haiti, the street vendors get yelled at for giving you pieces of fat and here is this guy, and he just loves it!” Sak pa bon pou youn, pi bon pou yon lot. (One man’s trash is another’s treasure!)

Olivier Duong, Photographer

I cannot choose one particular dish, because I enjoy Haitian cuisine for its bold flavors. I often eat rice and beans with Legume, Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup), even Akra (Taro Fritters), or plantains with Pikliz (Coleslaw).

I love Haitian cuisine primarily because it’s my culture. It’s what I know and can appreciate because of our struggles and resilient spirit. We love to cook. We love family, and food is a great way to bring and keep people together.

Kristia Beaubrun, Public Relations Professional

On most Sundays mornings, after walking home with my sister from church, the smell of my grandmother’s cooking would greet us at the gate before reaching her doorsteps. She knew that our favorite dish was Chaka.

I remember my grandmother slowly stirring the stew for long periods of time so that it won’t burn on the bottom of the pot. She would pass over the big wooden spoon so that my sister and I would take turns stirring. It was a meal that required patience and love.

At that time, there was no prettier sight than a plate loaded with Chaka: Fresh Garlic, Corn, Red Beans, and Smoked Pork topped with Parsley. Over the years, I’ve yet to find a stew dish like my grandmother’s. Thinking of it now makes me want to run to her house!

Tracy Guiteau, Artist and Fashion Designer

I’ll say that my all-time favorite Haitian meal is Diri Blan with Sòs Pwa Nwa (White Rice with Black Bean Sauce) and Legume. My mom would make huge pots of each and we would fill our plates. Then, other family members would come over and eat!

I always questioned, “Why are they eating our food?” However, my mom was a giver and she always cooked her food, knowing that she was providing for as many as she could and not just for her family. I now try to do the same.

Jessica Descartes, Educator

I would have to say that my favorite Haitian food would have to be Griot and Diri Djon-Djon (Black Mushroom Rice). Hands down. I don’t know what my mom does to make it so good, but I applaud her each time!

Alexandra Josephine Morquette,
Co-President of the Columbia University Haitian Students’ Association

My favorite dish is Diri Djon-Djon and Griot. I also love Poisson Salé (saltfish) with yams and plantains. Seven years ago, before I left Haiti, my grandmother prepared that for my family and it was so good. Since then, I never had a good Poisson Salé. I think it’s because I can’t find good saltfish as the ones in Haiti!

Medjy Mezilus, Fashion Designer

My memory of eating Haitian food is a recent one at my dad’s repass. Family and friends were gathered and I tasted my cousin’s rice which I hadn’t had in about 15 years. Because of the age difference, she was more like an aunt than a cousin. She used sweeter seasoning on her rice; and, of course, the pot was filled with red kidney beans. Just smelling it unlocked old memories, and tasting it unlocked even more.

I suddenly remembered a game of musical chairs from more than a decade ago. I remember being forced into playing house with my cousins who were all girls. I also remembered my First Communion.

That era of my childhood was the one where I picked up most of the Creole that I know. “Ki-sa ou vle manje?” my cousin asked me. “What do you want to eat?” Her food always hit the spot. Tasting my cousin’s rice for the first time in a long while brought back those memories.

Romel Edmond, Writer

Lambi (Stewed Conch) is my favorite childhood food memory. Whenever I had the opportunity to enjoy Lambi nan Sòs (Conch in Sauce), it was during either a communion, wedding, or celebration. It marked a time of a special occasion and festivity with family and close friends. The two together will always be so healing – the true definition of “soul food.”

Florcy Morisset, Founder & Director of Vivant Art Collection

When my sisters and I were younger, our parents would fill our plates with a lot of food (especially with all the things we hated). They would tell us we couldn’t move from the table until our plates were cleaned. One day, my mom made white rice and peas alongside her turkey and sauce. It was a simple meal, but as a picky eater, turkey was one of the foods I disliked.

Sitting in front of my plate, I wondered, “Why didn’t my mom cook Poule Di (Hen) and Sòs Pwa (Bean Sauce). I totally would have finished that meal in a matter of seconds. One by one, I watched as all my sisters finished their meals and scattered to enjoy the rest of the Sunday while I sat sunken in my chair, picking at my food.

As my mom cleaned the dishes, she kept saying phrases like “Hurry up” and “Eat, Daphnie, so you can grow.” Half an hour later, my mom finished the dishes, and came and sat next to me in a seat on the table. Like a baby, she forced fed me the turkey and the rest of my meal. This memory is one that will forever stay etched in my memory as one of my earliest picky eater-isms while growing up in a Haitian family.

Daphnie Bordes, Writer/Blogger

Food is one of those things that factor into the fondest of memories. Patriotic Pumpkin Soup on New Year’s Day occupies center stage in my heart. I make it numerous times a year, especially in winter. I recall swapping sandwiches and desserts with classmates in Haiti. I remember my family taking us to Osai Kai, the premier Chinese restaurant in Port-au-Prince. I also think about the late night black rice at La Caye in Brooklyn.

Katia D. Ulysse, Author

My favorite meal is Akasan. It’s a form of porridge. I am always reminded of my childhood when I have Akasan! During the early weekend mornings, there would be this lady selling it in my neighborhood (Pernier) or a family friend would make the best in town. Having it in the early mornings with warm Haitian bread and peanut butter made everything seem alright. The taste, the smell, and the color made you take your time to savor every spoonful.

Debbie Jean-Jacques, Student

I love Bouyon (Soup). I come from the mountains. We live near the near sea, and we always drink pure water. I love Sòs Pwa (Bean Sauce) because it has a lot of vitamins, irons, and protein. I also love my green plantains.

Lucie Monestime, Patient Care Technician

My favorite Haitian dish is Tom Tom ak Kalalou. It’s a staple dish from my hometown in Les Cayes (South of Haiti). I also like legumes, Griot, fried plantains, Diri Djon Djon, White Rice with Sòs Pwa, and Poul nan Sòs.

The most memorable time of eating Haitian meals is during Reveillon on Christmas Eve after Midnight Mass. We have Sòs Pwa Congo, White Rice, and Lambi. On January 1st, we always have Soup Joumou.

Mary Leon Bourjolly, Educator

Some of my favorite Haitian dishes are Diri, Sòs Pwa, and Legim. I also love Diri Djon-Djon, which is one of my specialties. When my friends are planning for parties, they always ask me to prepare that dish for them. I love to cook. It’s not a chore for me. People may not realize it, but I can cook up a storm!

Margarette Tropnas, Community Activist

I love a well-cooked Haitian meal. As a proud Haitian, I cannot spend a week without eating Haitian food. In my family, there is a tradition where each day, we cook a specific meal. I have three favorite days: Saturday (Corn, Fish, or Blé [Bulgar Wheat]), Wednesday (Legumes), and Friday (Bouyon).

On Wednesdays, we eat Lalo which is spinach. I am a Gonaivien so this has been my favorite food since I was a young boy. Not everyone knows how to cook Lalo. My second favorite is Bouyon. It is very relaxing and healthy. I am from a family of fashionistas and doctors; therefore, eating healthy to remain slim is a must. We avoid the spicy foods and anything with lots of fat. We do not eat red meat, pork, or steak.

My most memorable Haitian meal is drinking Soup Joumou on January 1st. There is a sense of pride from everyone, and seeing all of us together is mesmerizing.

Ciano Clerjuste, Founder, Chairman & President of United Colors of Fashion

I love lots of different types of Haitian food, but what brings the most memories is Soup Joumou. As a kid, both my mom and grandma would stay up late on New Year’s Eve to make it. It’s such a celebratory time and all of us get to help out!

Lorraine A. Charles, Medical Professional & Mrs. Haiti International 2014

In my family, food is a very important matter. My mother is a real ‘Cordon Bleu” and has transformed the way people look at Haitian food. My favorite dish is Krab ak Berejenn (Crab with Eggplant), Diri Blan ak Pwa Blan (White Rice with White Beans), Pwason Gwo Sèl (Red Snapper), and Poul Kreyol (Haitian Chicken).

I remember when my family and I were in Kenscoff, Haiti. My mother prepared Diri Kole ak Pwa (Rice and Beans). She cooked the rice with some ham she had prepared the day before. She fried the Pwa (Beans) and put it on top of the rice! I remember the Poul Peyi (Hen) that she made with it. The dessert was Blan Manje.

Yanick J.P. Lahens, Author

I love Banan Peze (Fried Plantains) with Lambi (Conch). I also love Diri Kole (Rice and Beans), Diri Djon-Dijon (Black Mushroom Rice), and Cabrit Boucane (Grilled Goat). I love to eat and savor Haitian food with my family and good friends over good conversations as we reminisce about Haiti.

Dr. Evelyn Julmisse, Educator

My favorite Haitian dishes are Boulette (Meatballs), Legim (Legume), and Makaroni Gratinen (Macaroni and Cheese). These make me think back to family holidays when there was a table full of these dishes plus lots more. I would start at one end with an empty plate and leave the other end with the most delicious combination of my favorite dishes. The meals were always made with so much flavor and love.

Yamilee Toussaint, Educator

My favorite Haitian dishes include Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup), Tassot (Fried Goat), Makaroni au Gratin (Macaroni and Cheese), and Salade Russe. In particular, Soup Joumou holds very special memories for me. Soup Joumou represents the New Year and our Independence Day, not to mention the opportunity to bring family together to celebrate.

From Midnight Masses to ring in the New Year to sharing a bowl of Soup Joumou in every Haitian household you visit on January 1st, it is powerful to see how a dish can continue to have both historical and social significance among Haitians. Not to mention the labor of love that goes into all the ingredient prep and cooking of Soup Joumou!

Nedgine Paul, Co-founder & CEO Anseye Pou Ayiti (Teach for Haiti)

I love Pen Patate.

Berlotte Antoine, Radio Host

I love that Haitian food bursts with mouth-watering spices and bold zesty flavor. Let’s not even talk about the seductive aromas which escape out of a Kreyol kitchen’s window. It can be a seaside blend: lambi (conch), lobster, shrimp, crab, snapper, cod, or erring. It might be chicken, goat, pork and turkey. You may find root vegetables like yams, potatoes, manyok (tapioc), carrots, and beets. Whatever are the cook’s pick of ingredients, it is the blending of fresh herbs, vegetables, spices, and marinades in a slow-roasted, slow cooked way that brings it all together.

I absolutely love that Haitians use a pilon (pestle and mortar) to crush parsley leaves, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, and vegetables, which releases the aromatic oils and maximizes natural flavors. The food is prepared with lots of love and care that you can really savor. It’s good food for the soul.

Some of my personal favorites are Ragu ak Diri Blan (Pig’s Feet with White Rice), Poul ak Nwa, legumes, Black Rice with Tasso, and salty-sweet and crispy Plantains with a side of Pikliz!

One of the most memorable times was visiting my grandparents in Cap-Haitien and always smelling something comforting and familiar wafting from their kitchen. They would always let me snack on breadfruits or help snap some peas. I even remember seeing the crabs moving around in the pot when I was six years old. Cap-Haitien is known for its stew chicken with cashews – a dish I still favor to this day.

Myriam Jean, Educator

Some of my favorite Haitian foods are Mayi Moulin (Cornmeal) with Aransó (Herring) and avocado; Diri Djon Djon (Black Mushroom Rice) with crab; and, Bouyon (Soup). My favorite dessert is Ambrosia (Fruit Cocktail). The most memorable times are at family events when they became potlucks. Relatives brought their specialty dishes, and we broke bread together.

Dina Simon,
Founder and Managing Director of My Haiti Travels

My favorite Haitian meals are Legim, Diri Blan, and Soup Joumou. I can eat them every day and be happy. I learned how to make Soup Joumou two years ago! I love it! I can’t make Legim yet but that’s next on my list.

Wanda Tima-Gilles, Founder of L’Union Suite

As a child, I was transported into a world of rich culinary tradition every time I spent time with my grandmother in the kitchen. Patat ak Let (Sweet Potato with Milk) was a lot different compared to a nice bowl of cereal, but once I had a taste, it became one of my favorite things to eat. I’ve experienced this feeling many times, mostly when I eat a dish that my grandmother used to make. My grandmother was the best cook to ever walk the Earth.

Carmel Balan, Founder of Port Academie

Two of my favorite Haitian meals are Bouyon and Diri Djon-Djon. My mother made Bouyon every Saturday and our trip to the local vegetable market was very special. My favorite memory is gathering with the neighbors in the backyard. I remember all of the laughter. We were really happy – it was the real joie de vivre.

Paulette Salisbury, Chef

Some of my favorite Haitian meals are:

1. Diri Djon Djon (Black Mushroom Rice)
2. Mayi Moulen ak Zaboka (Cornmeal with Avocado)
3. Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup)
4. Lambi (Conch)

My most memorable time eating Haitian food is eating it in Haiti. Sometimes, on Haitian beaches, the fisherman will sell you a fish and someone will grill it for you right there. Or, they will grill newly caught Lambi and dip it in Pikliz. It’s the best Haitian food I’ve ever eaten.

Edwidge Danticat, Author

Last year, I worked alongside an organization and we were hosting a Haitian concert. Our contract required that we provide food to the artists that evening. I had never eaten Haitian food and thought I would refrain because I was going to be very busy that evening.

All of the work I did created an appetite. An hour before the show, I snuck to the kitchen and fixed a plate with chicken patties, beans and rice, and some pink- colored medley that looked like potato salad. The pink thing, I can’t recall what it was, BLEW MY MIND! It was SO good that I kept going back to get more of it. The patties were excellent. As the project manager, I was waving around directions with one hand while happily eating a patty with the other.

Charlette Clark, Environmental Consultant

Our rich, flavorful Haitian food is one of the many treasures we get to experience in our culture. I absolutely love Beyens (Banana Fritters). The sweet banana fried dough is delicious and addictive. Although it is popular during carnivals, one can also find them throughout the year. Whenever I am in Haiti, I make it a point to visit some of my favorite street food vendors to complete the sense of being home.

Daniella Bien-Aime, Founder of Bien-Aime Post

Legim Krab ak Lambi with white rice has a special place in my heart. I grew up in a single father household and my dad is an awesome cook. He knew how much I loved Legim. So, whenever he punished me for something and wanted to show remorse, the next day I would find the upper echelon of all Legims – legim adorned with my favorite seafoods: Crab and Conch. The Legim was served with the grainiest and tastiest of white rice. The white rice was spiced with just a piece of fried scallion and 2 cloves of garlic seasoned with salt. Nothing tasted better.

Nadege Fleurimond, Chef

My favorite Haitian meals are Legume with White Rice or Diri Djon Djon. I also love AK-100 (aka Akasan) and Labouyi. My most memorable time eating Haitian food was when we visited family in Miami and New York and just hung out in the kitchen while my family cooked and told Haitian jokes.

Denice Chinn

My favorite Haitian dish is Mayi Moulen (Cornmeal) with Black Beans and Legume. One of my best memories was leaving the capital to go to Jacmel at my grandma’s house every time school was closed. Her foods were heavenly.

Agathina Nozy, Student

My favorite Haitian food is Fritay (Fried Foods). For me, Fritay is associated with family and community. Growing up in Haiti, I, along with my sister and cousins, were only allowed to eat Fritay on Fridays. I also remember when relatives and the children from the neighborhood would sit in our front yard and look up at the stars at nighttime. We would talk and tell jokes before we went to sleep.

Fedia Louis, Social Worker

My favorite Haitian food is a delicacy – Pikliz. I love the taste – the spicier, the better. It is a wonder because it could make unsweetened, hard, and crispy plantains taste like heaven. I could eat Pikliz with meat, or just by itself.

Errold Moy Michel, Medical Logistics Officer

I have memories of my mother making Griot (Fried Pork), Diri Djon Djon (Black Mushroom Rice), and Banan Peze (Fried Plantains) for every special celebration we had.

Sabene Similien, Healthcare Coordinator

My favorite Haitian dish is Marinad and Fritay – not necessarily because of an affinity for the taste, but for the memories I have associated with the tasty treats.
As a five year old, I’d stroll the streets of Port-au-Prince every summer with my gang of cousins, after our grandmother distributed money between the six of us.

We’d look for our favorite food merchant, and wait anxiously as she deep fried the fritters. Those moments, surrounded by my cousins as we walked back home, eating our flavorful treats and laughing amongst ourselves, are some of my favorite memories.

Vania André, Editor-in-Chief of The Haitian Times