In a country that struggles with hunger and malnourishment, many Haitians turn to the informal street restaurants known as "manje kwit" or "Chin Janbe" that line many of the city's major streets.
The manje kwit or Chin Jambe cooks offer meals for $1 or less. Their fare is a lifeline for many Haitians living on less than $2 a day.
From small houses made of sheet metal and draped with sheets, they serve teachers, students, porters and shoe polishers just to name a few.
If you have visited Haiti but never tasted their street food, your exploration is yet incomplete. You can identify over one hundred and fifty street food items in the informal street restaurants that line many of the city's major streets. Haitian foods are a blend of influences. Creole cuisine originates from a blend of several culinary styles that populated the western portion of the island of Hispaniola, namely the French, African, Taíno natives, and Spanish influence. Mixed roots and spices, basic yet zippy, simple and grounded by the reality of the tropics and the back-story of its African heritage, yet touched with a hint of French complexity. Street food is comparatively a new concept in Haiti. Vendors sit under umbrellas on every Port-au-Prince sidewalk peddling fare like fried plantains, chicken, and spaghetti. Some enterprising Haitians, however, are consciously taking a cue from food truck scenes abroad and adding their own Creole twist.
Haitian Street Food Sellers are known as 'Chin Janbe'--they are the lifeline for many of the capital's food-insecure resident. The street food venders are simple poor men who prepare food in their small houses and shanties. Some of them are great chefs who sell their foods in the stalls near bus stations, churches or on the edges of local markets and serve local people at an affordable price like 75 gourdes ($1) or less, while the average cost of a plate of food in basic Creole restaurants here is 250 Haitian gourdes ($4). Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, where most citizens live on less than $2 a day.
In early July when protests against price hikes paralyzed Port-au-Prince, these informal street chefs known as "manje kwit, without prior notice, were forced close their stalls. They could not sell their prepared foods. Whatever they had, had to share within the family and rest distributed free to their neighbors. Thus, they lost a major part of their savings cum investment in a single day. During the five days of protest, many of their poor clients struggled to find food which they can afford to buy.
Picture of a slaughterhouses in the metropolitan area of Port-auprince characterized by foul odors, scattering rubbish and pests of all kinds. These places for slaughter of "meat animals" operate outside of hygiene or safety standards.
La Saline slaughterhouse in Port-au-Prince is there since 1982. It is a blood-drenched patch of land near a site which was once used for trading slaves. Today, it is an open air abattoir that supplies meat to the city. Seeing animals being killed is one thing, but hearing the sound of animals about to be killed is quite different. If you haven't heard that before, it's quite cruel and pathetic. It happens every morning well before the dawn when people from different departments of the country come to slaughter their livestock, including goats, cattle, and pigs. For the local people who live here in the impoverished shanty houses, slaughtering animals is the only means to earn their daily breads. Every day, about 150 goats and 100 pigs are killed and the merchants pay a fee of 10 to 15 gourdes per animal to the slaughterhouse administration and the slaughterers, in turn, are rewarded with pieces of meat. The open killing ground smells of dead animals, smoke and burning trash. The stench produced from burning animal skins is very distinctive. Anyone buying animal elsewhere can get it killed here for 125 gourdes. He can pay a man less than a dollar to push the carcass in a wheel barrow to the other side of the market where the animal could be sold by weight. There is no proper infrastructure and the state authority, knowing the fact that this is one of the main sources of meat to the city, prefers to keep their eyes closed.
This Saturday, April 16, 2016 many personalities of the Haitian media was present at the inauguration of Maison Kreyol in the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The new Haitian restaurant in Santo Domingo opened during Diaspora Week.
It is primarily a Haitian restaurant which is considered to be the first of its kind in the neighboring country. It is already predicted to become a success for the Haitian community living in the Dominican Republic as the new Maison Kreyol will be a central location for Haitians either living or visiting the Dominican Republic.
Something that both the Haitian government and President Bill Clinton come to regret. In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton encouraged Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to drop all protective tariffs and allow US to export rice to Haiti.
This so called aids to Haiti does nothing to boost local food production capacity. In addition for a government to allow this without any long term plan to increase local production is irresponsible at least. This policy created a level of dependency and caused further decline in Haitian agriculture.
Is there any one looking out for the future of Haiti or is it just that everyone in a particular situation is trying to do what is best for themselves. Unfortunately, it's every man for himself.
When you are thinking about Little Haiti from now on, you might want to think twice. Here is another sign to show that Little Haiti is going through a major renovation. Cheeseburger Baby just opens its popular restaurant on NE 79th Street and NE Second Avenue in Miami which is a location surrendered by Haitian owed businesses
South Beach's Cheeseburger Baby is now also located at NE 79th Street and NE Second Avenue. A food truck-sized venue it occupies 260-square feet.
Owner Stephanie Vitori capitalizes on customers, who pass by Cheeseburger Baby on their way to work, offering them cortaditos and breakfast sandwiches.
Other reasonably-priced items on the menu include turkey burgers, BLTs, grilled cheese, and Philly cheese steaks. All ingredients are fresh-bought the same day, and cooked-to-order.
New Florida Bakery Inc is located in little Haiti in Miami. They serve the best patties and Haitian bread in Miami. The food you get here is always fresh and its taste takes you back to Haiti instantly. They serve patties in different flavors like chicken, beef, smoked herring, ground turkey and codfish with good levels of spiciness. Haitian breads are similar to Cuban breads but they are denser and amazingly delicate. Never miss to taste their 'pates' or Pah-tays (as they pronounce). It is the Haitian equivalent of pastelitos made of puff pastry and comes in lobster, beef, smoked herring, and ground turkey or codfish filling (ask for morue). Beef and Lobster pastelitos are fresh, warm, and flaky with delicious spicy minced beef or lobster feelings ($1 each). The fillings are pounded to form a smooth paste that is seasoned with garlic, a pinch of cloves, thyme, and a tingle of heat from just the right amount of scotch bonnet peppers (piman bouk). Haitian cuisine is simple and unpretentious and at the same time it is bold and spicy. Haitian patty is an area of cross-cultural cuisine fusion that demonstrates typical African culinary aesthetic paired with French sophistication. "Pah-tays" is an Anglicization of French word "patisserie" which simply means pastries. Cuban patties are famous for sweet fillings but Haitian patties are differently crust and exclusively savory.
The staffs of New Florida Bakery are well conversant in English, French and Creole. They have a huge parking space. Come here with some extra time in our hand because there is always a line at the counter. It is a "Cash Only" shop where anything you buy is always fresh, perfect and inexpensive. New Florida Bakery is a community institution, the golden standard in Haitian baked food for decades. It is a necessary stop for families after Sunday church because their patties are best when they are fresh out of the oven in the morning.
46 NE 62nd St - Little Haiti, Florida 33138
Found on 219 N. 10th St., The District Coffee House serves up a pour-over coffee experience that is sure to delight even the most exotic coffee connoisseurs. The technique of pour-over coffee involves pouring, a cup at a time, the ground and brewed beverage. Water that is near the boiling point is poured onto fresh grounds in a paper cone, and then the good, rich, black coffee lands in the cup a drip at a time. To make the experience richer, The District often hosts get-togethers where coffee experts come and give a crash course in coffee parlance to the patrons.
219 N 10th St. Boise, Idaho
The Success Story behind Our Lady Bakery
Located in Del Ray Beach, Our Lady Bakery is run by Haitian-Americans Pierre and Josette Moise. The bakery makes authentic Haitian breads.
The first few years in business were lean and the Moises feared failure. But Pierre sold bread from his van to grocery stores and merchants started ordering. Today bread is delivered to 40 Haitian, Jamaican, and Hispanic grocery stores.
The Moises will open a new store on Southeast First Street with a take-out restaurant in addition to the bakery.
102 SE 2nd Ave - Delray Beach, Florida 33444
LA Patisserie Sweets Delight.
It is commonly known Haitian bakeries proliferate in South Miami where a large Haitian Diaspora exists, but you need not look far to find them in North Miami as well. LA Patisserie is a family-run and privately-owned bakery in North Miami, founded in 1999.
As a special-occasion bakery, they create wedding, birthday, and graduation cakes, among other types of cakes for any celebratory event. They also offer an array of made-on-the-premises pastries and confections from around the world.
14540 W Dixie Highway - North Miami, Florida 33161