NOTICE: After almost four months with our doors closed, we are delighted to announce that we are coming back to continue to serve you fine, authentic and delicious Haitian cuisine. With a new management team composed of young Haitian entrepreneurs, Chez Violette is now KIZIN CREOLE. Thank you for your patience and continued support. We will soon announce our grand reopening date. Follow us on Facebook for more updated information. We can't wait to serve you again!
Welcome to Chicago's taste of Haiti! As part of your culinary adventure at Kizin Creole, let us share with you a bit about Haitian cuisine. Haitian food is often compared with other Caribbean islands and classified together generally as « Caribbean cuisine. » However, Haiti maintains an independently unique flavor. Unlike its Spanish-influenced counterpart, the Dominican Republic, Haitian cuisine is based on Creole and French cooking styles. Strong pepper flavoring in many dishes also sets Haitian food apart from the other islands.
Several dishes are specifically native to Haiti, including rice djon-djon (jon-JON). It requires Haitian black mushrooms, locally grown fungi. The stems of the mushrooms are used to color the rice black, then the mushroom caps with lima beans are used as a tasty topping. Pain patate (pane pah-TAT), a sweetened potato, fig, and banana pudding, are other native dishes to Haiti. Bouyon (hearty Haitian soup with vegetables and meat) is traditionally served for lunch on Saturdays and Soup jeromon (pumpkin soup) on Sundays.
In general, the average Haitian diet is largely based on starch staples such as rice (which is locally grown), corn, millet, yams, and beans. However, those who can afford meat usually eat pork, chicken and goat. Seafood is also prevalent, including shrimp, red snapper and grouper.
Traditional Haitian Dish
Diri ak Pwa, the country's national dish of rice and beans, is more common fare. It is relatively inexpensive, and the rice and beans provide carbohydrates for field workers. Mayi moulen (cornmeal mush) cooked with kidney beans, coconut, and peppers, and pikliz (Haitian slaw made of spicy pickled carrots and cabbage) can be filling, and its ingredients are usually affordable. Haitians also tend to frequently marinate and then fry their meals to give them greater flavor. Bannann peze (fried plantains, similar to bananas), poule (fried chicken), tasso (deep-fried beef), and griot (fried pork) are common examples.