Familiar foods, recipes and approaches to cooking are a real comfort to most of us. They remind us of home, childhood, and good times with loved-ones. They’re guaranteed to satisfy our taste buds and “hit the spot.” However, I’ve realized through my passion for adventure and exploration, that flavors and cuisines from other countries can add a new enjoyment to our meals and even provide a window into understanding other people of the world and their cultures.
The recent disaster in Haiti has me thinking about their foodways and dishes, which you don’t usually hear much about. Despite this, I’ve discovered that this tiny Island country has a diverse, yet simple, flavorful cuisine that reflects the country’s Caribbean heritage and historic ties to Africa, France and Spain.
If you look at the names of dishes from cookbooks like A Taste of Haiti  by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas and Fine Haitian Cuisine  by Mona Cassion Ménager, you’ll see chili pepper spiced dishes, quiches, plantains, sweet potatoes, breadfruit, salt cod, and other seafood listed. Fowl, pork and beef, and a variety of rice and beans dishes are also major contributors to Haitian cuisine.
I found a simple Haitian red beans and rice recipe online that I made in thinking about the people of Haiti, their cuisine, and those in the country who currently don’t have the food and resources to fully nourish themselves or enjoy their familiar homeland’s dishes.
Although I already made a donation for Haiti’s recovery a while back, I plan to give more. As we all know, the need for aid continues. This Sunday, February 21st, food bloggers in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and L.A. are uniting to sponsor Stir It! 28 , an evening of good food and cocktails where foodies contribute their best dishes to raise funds for Haiti. All of the proceeds will be donated to Yele Haiti  and Share Our Strength .
While, I can’t be in attendance at what I’m sure will be deliciously entertaining events, I encourage anyone who’s in New York, Atlanta, Chiciago or L.A. to purchase a ticket and join in the efforts. If you too can’t attend, consider giving or giving again to organizations working for Haiti’s recovery (see below). And when you’re back home in your own kitchen, try out a Haitian recipe to remember the people and connect with their culture in a different way.
Haitian Recipe Resources
Organizations Acception Donations for Haitian Earthquake Recovery