Experiencing Haitian cuisine and culture with Mennen’m La Tours: Gabby in Haiti

 

In my Previous Post, you’ve learned about Gabby a designer from New York on a culinary journey, who I’ve had the pleasure to welcome to my home country Haiti for Mennen’m La Tour.The journey first started at Bo Village where Gabby received a typical Haitian hat with a tiny Barbancourt rum bottle and a little Haitian souvenir. We served her some local fruits, then it was time to leave around 3PM to pick up two other girls who would be traveling with her.

The ride to the Nippes department was longer than usual as there was a lot of traffic in the capital city on that day but at 8:30 PM the girls finally arrived at Dine’s house, our host for the trip. They were welcomed with some good food: Fried plantains, Salad, rice and fried beef croquettes. It did not take long for everybody to lay down and rest as we were all tired from the long ride.

The next day, as the rooster sang, we all woke up refreshed and energized for breakfast.

First, they all went to the river for the morning bath. The fresh and cold water was all it took to get them excited about their motorbike ride to the waterfall planned after breakfast.

The meal was served by the river on green banana leaves. Fresh fruits, bread, eggs, cheese… they were ready for a feast.

The ladies enjoyed their meal as Simone, our cook, thought them how to prepare coffee the haitian way. It was an interesting learning experience for all of them as they watched the fresh coffee powder melt as the hot water fell in the grèp (Haitian creole way of saying Grep) used to strain the coffee.
It was soon time to leave on the back of motorcycles to the Saut du Baril waterfall.

Sitting behind the driver, the ladies enjoyed the view: Miles of water just flowing between mountains while the air blew on their faces and the road got sometimes bumpy.

At the waterfall, they enjoyed fresh mangoes while bathing in the magical waters.

On their way back, they stopped at Fabienne’s house, a local of the area who often prepares fresh coffee for our hikers. The ladies got to ask Fabienne’s mom  some questions and take pictures of the modest and cozy house. Before jumping on the motorbikes to go back to Dine’s house, they could not resist the smell of hot, street patties, called pat kòde. This patty filled with salt cod chicken, a boiled egg, hot dogs and sauce was just what they needed after challenging their bodies to reach the waterfall.

At Dine’s some pasta with  was waiting for them! The non stop eating had definitely started at this point. Some labapen (chestnuts) was also served as well as some kremas, a Haitian drink.

After the feast, Gabby and Wilmar jumped on a car with the driver to go get the masseuse. It was a perfect excuse for them to take pictures of the view of the Port of Miragoane, which they had missed the day before because of the darkness.

A massage was waiting for them by the river. The ladies were in heaven. What better way to relax the muscles after such a busy day.

As the night settled in, It was time for a candle light diner animated by a live Twoubadou band.

 

The next morning, after breakfast, a surprise was waiting for the ladies. By the river, Simone, our cook was waiting for them for a Beny, the traditional Haitian bath given with leaves and sour oranges soaked in hot or warm salty water. The leaves that often have different therapeutic properties are used to treat inflammation, soreness, muscle stiffness and stress. In the Haitian tradition, the bath is given by someone who rubs the leaves on your body, specially in the places where you feel pain and stiffness. The goal is to feel relaxed and good. The ladies were so fascinated by this experience and said it was nothing like what they had experienced before. No need to say I was delighted to introduce them to this tradition.

It was then the start of a fun day where the ladies got the participate in a Haitian cooking class! A table was set up in the garden for the ladies to cut, mash and shred. All the tolls were there waiting for them to have fun with them. On the menu: Kalalou (Okra), Fried plantains and sweet potatoes, Accra (typical Haitian appetizer made with fried malanga) and some more salad. The ladies had so much fun as they tested their skills in the garden before following Simone to the kitchen and frying and filming.

On Monday morning, it was time for a road trip to Grand Goave (cloder to the capital) where they would take the boat for a day at Balanier beach, Haiti’s little paradise!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post as I tried to fit everything in just a few words and pictures. What did you think of their journey? Panning on visiting Haiti soon? Comment below for the chance of winning a free trip with Mennen’m La Tours.

Until next time for more adventures!

xoxo

A travel lover

 

 

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