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Thanksgiving Holiday Dishes Caribbean and Haitian Style

Nov 27, 2022 12:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian

The Thanksgiving meal is where we share tales, laugh, and create remembrances that will last a lifetime with our loved ones. Americans have found a way to make this holiday a time for pleasure and togetherness despite its sorrowful past. Our Thanksgiving meal is similar to that of many other American families, but it also includes dishes with a Haitian and Caribbean flair. So let's set that table for Caribbean and Haitian food and begin chowing down.


Macaroni au Gratin  


It's tough to top the classic flavor profile of cheese and carbohydrates. However, the luxurious addition of rich ingredients and spices in this recipe elevates it to a new level. Ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, mustard, onion powder, and bouillon give this dish a strong taste profile. Standard cheese blends include both mozzarella and ricotta added for extra creaminess. It's just as cheesy and satisfying, plus it's prepared with sautéed bell peppers and onions. Cook it for 20 minutes to produce a golden, crispy exterior, and dive in! This tasty Haitian meal works as well as a warm and satisfying main course or a festive addition to your holiday table.


Haitian cuisine is an exciting mix of French and African flavors. Fritaille (fritay), a variety of tasty fried foods, is a staple of Haitian cuisine. A side of fritay or fritaille is ideal for any traditional Haitian Thanksgiving meal. Anything fried may be called "fritay." Turkey, goat, accra (malanga fritters), plantains, and yucca are the most popular items in a fritay selection. Tassot is fried, chewy pieces of goat or beef that are often prepared by boiling first. Obviously, vegans and vegetarians can only eat foods that come from plants. Not the healthiest option on the table, Thanksgiving in Haiti isn't complete without fritay (despite the deep-frying).

Pen Patate 

Pen patate, or sweet potato pudding, is a traditional Haitian dessert. It's a festive treat that Haitians look forward to every year. This baked dessert has sweet potatoes, bananas, and raisins as its primary ingredients. This meal is vegetarian, but it may easily be made vegan by omitting or reducing specific components. You may use almond or coconut milk creamer and vegan butter instead of butter and evaporated milk. Brown rice flour, in my experience, may also serve as a binder. All the classic flavor and texture that so many Haitians seek in this meal is preserved while using these alternatives.

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Turkey Neck Soup


When you think of Thanksgiving, you probably think of turkeys and Thanksgiving dinner. A hearty, flavorful, and soothing bowl of soup. The tastiest soup of the season is made with pieces of turkey neck that has been pressure cooked, then mixed with a wide range of ground supplies, herbs, spices, dumplings, and boiled. To the turkey stock, leeks, mushrooms, wild rice, and brown rice are added to create a rich and satisfying soup. As opposed to white meat, the taste of dark meat, such as a turkey neck, really shines in a meal. It's the holiday season, so turkey necks would be more readily available at the supermarket. The packs often include two or three necks. Turkey necks may vary in size from very lean to quite meaty, depending on the store from which you get them.

Jamaican Spicy 'Pepper' Shrimp

Try making the Jamaican Spicy 'Pepper' Shrimp at home instead of the more expensive restaurant version. In only 30 minutes, you can have delicious shrimp doused in a scotch bonnet spice and base that's just a little bit spicy and has touches of buttery flavor. Whether you're a local or just visiting, everyone in Jamaica will love these Jamaican Pepper Shrimp. They also make a terrific appetizer while you finish the remainder of dinner. Make a big batch since it keeps well in the fridge for up to two days after preparation. It also makes logistics and processing simpler. Additionally, Thanksgiving dinner prep is simplified because of the reduced clutter.


Callaloo, sometimes known as Caribbean spinach due to its dark green color, is a nutritious leafy green. In fact, the recipe works well with many different types of greens. While dasheen or taro leaves are authentic, you may substitute Swiss chard or spinach with no loss of flavor or texture. Okra stews with fish or pig are pretty common in the Virgin Islands. Fungi, prepared with cornmeal and okra, is eaten with callaloo. This zesty, wholesome, and freshly prepared method of cooking greens brings the island's flavor to your table. A crowd-pleaser because of its smoky bacon and fiery jalapenos. You can have a tasty meal in no time!

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 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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