Diaspora

Haitian Christmas dishes to add to your holiday menu – caribbeannationalweekly.com

Christmas in Haiti carries all the typical revelry you’d expect from a majority Christian Caribbean country with one added layer – the season is a leadup to Haitian independence day on January 1st. This makes the season a serious affair dedicated to worship and celebration of the path to independence, in addition to reuniting with family and exchanging gifts. Food takes center stage during the period – the mainstays are all here ham, turkey, etc., but Haitian’s unique cuisine, a combination of French, Creole, and African techniques, offers up some one-of-a-kind festive dishes.
Paté or Haitian Patties (a play on the popular Jamaican street food of the same name) is a common breakfast or street food on the island. Abundantly spiced beef is folded into pastry dough, which is baked in an oven until flaky and crispy. Paté is eaten year-round, but they’re in abundance during the festive season.
The delicious, cheesy, baked pasta casserole is a staple in Haitian kitchens. Pasta, normally rigatoni, is prepared until barely al dente. It’s layered in a casserole pan with onions and sweet peppers before being combined with a combination of cheeses – usually a cheddar and a gouda. The dish’s signature creaminess is the result of utilizing evaporated milk, instead of cow’s milk or heavy cream. 
Check out this Macaroni Au Gratin recipe by Savory Thoughts
Krema might seem like classic North American eggnog at a glance, and truthfully there’s some overlap, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. The creamy favorite has no egg for starters. Instead sweetened condensed milk is combined with evaporated milk, cinnamon, star anise, coconut cream, almond extract, vanilla, and lime juice to create a milkshake-like drink that locals have enjoyed for decades. The drink can be made in virgin and alcoholic versions, with many swearing that a spike of Haitian rum brings the flavors home.



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