One of my most favorite elements of this class has been the cooking; mostly because we get to do things we don’t usually do with our food. So, when we learned about Haiti, we had to do Haitian dishes for class. I must admit that at first I expected things would be super tough- you know those recipe books where the ingredients are all so out of your world- and you improvise everything and you eventually end up with just one of your local dishes made in a slightly more complicated way… haha.
I chose to do a rice dish after flipping through a bunch of recipes. I found it interesting that Haitians actually do a lot of rice (and a lot of things with their rice). The main reason behind this is that rice has been a major part of Haitian economy for over two hundred years. However, it has been bitter-sweet according to this article
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35608836/ns/world_news-americas/t/food-imports-hurt-struggling-haitian-farmers/#.WSSPMHlRXIU by Paisley Dodds of nbcnews.com. After the earthquake that hit Haiti, the agricultural market was flooded with imported subsidized rice, and now it is still staple food, but local farmers can’t make much money off it because their rice is more expensive. (Something I would not have known without taking this class)… and now I understand why it is important to include food in your learning if you are going to understand a foreign culture.
The rice recipe I decided on was Diri Blan (White Rice). We all know how to make plain rice, yes… yet the Haitian white rice recipe I used had a surprising twist to it- they put both garlic powder and butter in it. So it’s plain white rice, but not so plain. Here’s the link to the recipe I used- http://www.loveforhaitianfood.com/2014/11/diri-blan-white-rice.html . I liked the flavor the rice got from both the garlic powder and the butter. I even started cooking my rice that way once in a while.
Haitians have rice with bean purees or legumes, according to the page the link leads to.
Somi Elsie 🙂