This weekend I joined the Chicago Haitian Community in a celebration of Bois Caiman (Bwa Kayima) at the New location of the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti. I was actually ashamed that I didn’t know the historical context of the gathering led by Dutty Boukman in 1791 which gave way to the slave revolt which we now know as the Haitian Revolution.
Nonetheless, I was excited as always to be amongst Haitians enjoying their culture. I enjoyed poetry, dance, short stories and drumming. The performances were short and sweet and the small mixed intimate crowd of old Haitian women, affluent Haitian professionals, artists and foreigners were invited to go downstairs and join the host for what I consider to be the best part, which is the yummy food.
The menu didn’t have everything, but definitely had most of what I like to call the Haitian diner staples:
diri blan (dee-ree blahn) - white rice
sòs pwa (soss-pwah) - bean sauce
diri kole ak pwa (dee-ree/ koulay/ak/ pwah) -rice and beans
sòs vyann (sos vee-yahn) - chicken with tomato based sauce
diri dyondyon (dee-ree jon-john) - mushroom rice
bannann peze (bahn-nahn pay-zay) – fried pressed plantain
griyo (gree-yo) - fried goat meat
pate (pah-tay) – my personal favorite - Haitian pastry filled with your choice of chicken, beef or cod fish
Salad (sah-lahd) – Salad
Fwi (fwee)- Fruits
The food was amazing as expected and the evening ended with great music. For anyone who will be heading to Haiti or dining at a Haitian event, these are key foods that you will quickly grow to know and love!
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