Haitian food is the best, and if you haven’t had it, get ready for your life to change.

Haitian food is bold and flavorful, taking influences from West African and French cuisine. Though Haitian meals are well-seasoned, they aren’t always spicy. Scotch bonnet peppers are popularly used to add heat to dishes, but you can make milder versions by omitting the peppers.

1. Legume

Legume is a Haitian dish composed of mixed vegetables, meat or seafood and served with rice. When I was younger I hated legume, but now it’s actually become a favorite of mine. But it’s best enjoyed with crab.

“Brown rice, legume with crab and a tall glass of water will make you feel like a Haitian Prince.” – Kenny

“The mixture of the vegetables makes it very healthy. It’s just full of so many nutrients.” – Yasmine

2. Diri Djon Djon (Black Rice)

It’s not a real Haitian party unless black rice is served. I love brown rice, but this comes to a close second. This recipe calls for black mushrooms which are grown in the northern part of Haiti. They are considered a delicacy. They can be cooked with shrimp and cashews as well.

“Haitian food just has so much flavor, taste, and soul.” – Ansy

3. Lambi (Conch)

Personally, I haven’t eaten this many times in my life, but when I did it was easily one of the best things I’ve ever had. Conch is not only difficult to acquire but also requires a long cooking time. It’s a considered a delicacy.

“You know what makes Haitian food the best? It’s the seasoning. No one can season food better than Haitians.” – Anonymous

4. Makawoni au Graten (Baked Mac and Cheese)

It’s a popular dish you’ll find in any Haitian household or party. Haitians love carbs and it’s not a meal if you don’t have macaroni next to your rice. I love macaroni and cheese, so this is obviously one of my favorite dishes. Just a side note: always make more than one plate of this when coming to a party.

“Haitian food is very flavorful and hearty. It just connects me to my Haitian background.” – Calvin

5. Bannann Peze, Griot/Griyo and Pikliz

It is one of most popular dishes in Haitian culture. Griot and Plantains are a wonderful combination. The pikliz on top adds extra spice to your meal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve craved griot. If possible, I’d eat this on a weekly basis.

“The secret to Haitian cooking? Epis (seasoning).” – Charlene

“Before you eat, make sure your food was made by an angry Haitian woman. The angrier the woman, the better the food tastes. Face it, all Haitian food tastes like a revolution.” – Creunis

Now one of the things about Haitian cuisine isn’t just how unique it is, but the way it brings family together. If you don’t believe me, bring one of these dishes to your family event and I guarantee that you’ll become the new family favorite.