Saturday, January 28, 2012

A day in the life: gwiot -- Haiti's national food

Haitians love gwiot. Also spelled griot, gryot, gryote, etc.* (pronounced "gwee oht"), it's fried pork.

I understand why. The stuff is good. And lucky for me, I happen to live directly across the street from the most famous griot restaurant in Jeremie! I'm a regular there.

Anyway... when I popped over tonight for "dix dola" (pronounced "deese doh luh") worth of pork, I got the usual quarter pound of fried pork along with some spicy cole slaw... which I love too.

Here are some pix from my favorite gwiot restaurant. This is the staff putting some gwyot into one of the little plastic bags in which she serves the food:In the background you can see the pot in which they deep fry the pork over the traditional charcoal fire... the same charcoal that is obtained by denuding Haiti.

Here's a pic of the mom (red neckerchief on her head) who runs the restaurant in front of their house:Needless to say, there are no zoning regulations that prohibit food establishments from being located in a residential area. Sadly, there are no zoning regs... which was a large part of the problem with the destruction of the earthquake.

And here's a close-up of the nightly dinner offering:That's the daily butchered pork to the left of the tray. The circular, yellow chips are standard fare: deep-fried plantain chips. And to the right is the spicy hot cole slaw.

When I first arrived, I was hesitant to eat here. And the cholera outbreak only compounded my fears. But I'm long past those concerns. Frankly, I got past most of those concerns when I lived in Vietnam. If I choose to live someplace, then I choose to there and accept what is thrown my way.

Tim White

* As far as I can tell, Haitian Creole has no definitive spelling for many words.

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