Taking a spin on the classic Charcuterie Board with Haitian Fritay. If you have ever been to Haiti, than you sure to have eaten Haitian Fried food, better known as street food. We’re showing you how to make a perfect Charcuterie Board, and we’re including all the details you’ll need to make your own beautiful fritay board for your next gathering!
One of the most popular street foods in Haiti that we are now bringing to you table. And if you have never had it, than we must say, you are in for a treat, as always!
What is Charcuterie?
You’ve seen Charcuterie all over the internet and social media, it is truly an art, and when it is created properly, the board will wow your family and guest.
Traditionally, Charcuterie is a board that’s prepared assembling cured meat of your choice, various cheese, and paring them at times with fruits (mainly for presentation).
In modern charcuterie boards, you’ll find cheese, crackers, fruits, and sauces as well as dips on the board. However the board is prepared, what makes the board impressive colors and how the food is displayed.
How is Charcuterie Pronounced? (Charcuterie Pronunciation)
It took us some time to pronounce this fancy word. It is pronounced as “shahr-kyu-tuh-ree.”
Charcuterie – Is It French Or Italian?
The word charcuterie originated in France, and it literally translates to “pork-butcher shop.” Keep in mind modern charcuterie boards now include can other types of food (as mentioned above).
Haitian Fritay – What makes this type of food so popular?
Besides the fact that it’s extremely tasty, it is also highly sort after in the evening all over the country. The demands for this popular street food sores even more in the month of February during our festival.
We can see all the prying eyes wondering about this festival. Well, whether you know it as mardi-gras, carnaval, jubilee, or fete, it is a festivity that is celebrated all across the Caribbeans between the months of February and March.
During that celebration period, fritay merchants from all over the country will come to bring their best fritay foot forward.
Haitian fritay or fritaille is an assortment of fried foods. It consists of a variety of delicacies such as fried plantains, pate kode, accra, marinade, sometimes depending on where you are, you may even find fried red snapper.
Fritay includes so much more. It is what we at Savory Thoughts would call “midnight soul food”, as it is the perfect evening snack or after party meal.
Bannan Peze – Fried Plantains
Haitian fried plantains, or bannann peze are always fried twice. This is done when the plantains are still at the starchiest point meaning green. After frying them the first time, they will then be pressed and refried.
If the plantain is completely yellow with some dark patches, that is when it has turned completely into a fruit at which point it is sugary, and it only needs to be fried once.
Whether you are making fried plantains that are sweet or just learning how to make green fried plantains, the method is extremely easy, they are both soaked in salt water with lemon before frying.
Fried plantains are The NUMBER ONE irresistible fried food in the Caribbean and Latin America. Whether you call them Plantains or Tostones, or maduros, the ending result is always delicious!
Accra or Akra
This Malanga fritter is a crunchy appetizer that is extremely common. Haitian Akra uses a native root vegetable mixed with flavorful herbs and spices to form a batter, which is then deep fried to crispy, golden perfection.
This starchy vegetable goes by many different names including yautia or taro and is cultivated in various tropical regions around the world.
Its texture is not so different to that of a potato, and in Haiti, malanga is often used in its place, whether roasted, boiled or fried.
Haitian Griot (recipe) is one of the most favorite and popular Haitian food dish. With a golden, crispy coating and a tender flavorful middle is all you need to add to your fritay.
Our griot is modified to a vegan version using Fried Jackfruit that will answer all your savory plant-based cravings.
Original Haitian Griot is made from pork shoulders. It is first seasoned then boiled/simmered with the original marinating liquid. Then it is shallow fried or sometimes deep fried resulting in a crispy outer layer, soft and tender on the inside.
Haitian griot was often served to the upper class and the elites. Today, griot is served throughout the country. It is served, especially as “fritay” or fried food, which is easily found amongst street vendors.
Jackfruit is a large tree fruit that is found in certain parts of Asia. Thanks to its starchy and fibrous texture, young jackfruit makes a great meat alternative with a mild taste that acts as a perfect vehicle for all kinds of flavors.
In Haiti, it is not uncommon to find vendors, especially at night making these steak bites. They are usually served with of course fried plantains, fried sweet potatoes, and pikliz (pickled coleslaw)!
The meat is usually cleaned in lemon, sour orange and or vinegar. Cut the meat into large cubes before cleaning it.
Tasso can be made with beef or goat. Initially marinated in the Haitian seasoning and boiled to tenderness. Deep fried to obtain a slight crispiness and color. The perfect addition to any fritay and a must have.
Patat Fris (Patat Frit) – Fried Sweet Potato
Patat fris or fried sweet potatoes is not your typical sweet potato. This type of potato has a reddish color, but white when peeled. It is a crossed between a traditional sweet potato and a russet potato in terms of sweetness.
Wonderfully delicious when added to your fritay. A perfect sweetness addition to add balance to the rest of the fritay.
Yuca (fried yuca air fryer or yucca deeped fried) in Haiti is often boiled, like red snapper, not every merchant will sell yuca as part of the fritay. It required work to peel and prepare.
However, yuca can easily replace potatoes in many dishes and can be prepared in similar ways – it can be boiled, mashed, fried or baked.
They are known as the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.
And of course, a tuber due to its woody texture, is a perfect addition to fritay as well. Cut and deep fried is deliciously added next to the fried meats with a sprinkle of pikliz.
Yuca: More commonly known as cassava or manioc. Despite its similar name to Yucca, Yuca is a tuber native to Latin America and the Caribbean. It is very much similar to potato. It is loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.
With a crispy surface and succulent, tasty middle, Haitian Fried Chicken (recipe) is bound to become your new family favorite.
Even though fried chicken may not be available from all street vendors, it is one that you will find periodically.
The spice blend is what really sets Haitian Fried Chicken (Recette poulet frit) apart from other similar recipes, with a fragrant mix of garlic, cloves, sometimes paprika as well as hot pepper such as cayenne or Scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme that gives it that signature bold flavor profile.
Add some pikliz on top and some fried plantains on the side with some pate, that is all she wrote.
A Crispy, deep-fried fritter often with a juicy, savory filling (recipe is listed above under Haitian fritay). This mouth-watering dish is a staple at any Haitian street vendor.
A simple combination of fresh parsley or parsley flakes, salt and pepper to add the flavor that runs through the batter mix, ensuring you get a delicious herby taste with every bite. For an extra kick, you can also add in some fresh habanero chili at this stage.
Saucisse – Sausage
Saucisse or sausages are another addition to the fritay ensemble, but it is not common everywhere, as it can be pricy for the venders to purchase. The sausages can be served whole or cut into pieces. Of course, deep fried as all the food items in fritay are.
But our recipe is a little healthier by making it in the air fryer. To cook sausage kielbasa in the air fryer, first, remove the sausage from the package.
Give it a quick rinse under cold water. This is to ensure that you rinse off any prior handling. And follow the remaining steps on how to cook sausage in the air fryer as per our recipe.
Saucisse is sometimes a great meat addition as it is not always available from all vendors. So for some, you can say it can be a little treat.
This is as authentic as it gets. Pate Kode is a Haitian Street delicacy that is easy to make and delicious.
Pate Kode is an inexpensive pure street comfort food. You can always find it from many street vendors in Haiti. Although you may find some varieties in the ingredients used, ultimately, you will be satisfied!
A typical street pate kode is made with herring (aranso), but we are introducing a healthier version not yet seen in Haiti’s streets. Enjoy this juicy and delicious vegan style filled with vegetables.
Other pate kode can also be filled with chicken, beef but seldomly, and of course the most popular is fish, typically herring.
If you want to “WOW” your taste buds with even more acidic flavors, controlled by the heat of scotch bonnet peppers, or habanero peppers – this is a must!
Haitian Pikliz, a yummy deliciousness usually accompanies fried foods (fritay). It is a spicy condiment popular in Haitian cuisine made of cabbage, carrots and various seasonings. Haitian pikliz is our version of pickled slaw.
The acidity in pikliz helps to breakdown some of the greasiness from the fritay platter. It is a great balance to accompany your entire fried platter.
Your fritay is not complete unless a good amount of pikliz is spread on top of it. Each and every dish in the platter is made even more delicious with a serving of pikliz to entice your palate.
How Do I Make A Charcuterie Board?
Before we begin, think about the size of board you want. Our board 12×18-inches. You can use whatever size/shape board you want! The main idea is for you to be creative.
You can even use a lazy suzan if you’d like.
Next, prepare the dishes, one a time. It’s best to start overnight, like the tasso, the marinade, the pate. Those can be prepared the night before and reheat the next day. Or you can simply prepare the dough the night before and start frying the next day.
If you are using cherry tomatoes, it is best to prepare the night before as well. Prepare the pikliz the night before. In fact, we encourage it as the flavors will develop more.
Visualize your board and keep it as “authentic” as possible. Haitians love to serve salads with food. Our salads is very simple, lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots. Therefore, we added lettuce for greenery and tomatoes for some warm color.
Once you are cooking and frying everything. Arrange the board with the lettuce and tomatoes and start placing the items on the board. That’s it!
You now have a beautiful Haitian Fritay Charcuterie board for you to enjoy.
More Haitian Recipes To Enjoy
If you loved this Friday Board, we recommend trying these Haitian recipes next.
It warms our hearts to see the recipes you make from this site, and we’d especially would love to know if you tried this any of the recipes mentioned.
Also, we would appreciate if could give it a star rating below!