I visited the South of Haiti, particularly, Les Cayes, which is known for its restaurants among many other commodities. They serve a variety of grilled seafood. Gelee beach is one of the most popular beaches of Les Cayes and I stopped there to not only enjoy the beach, but also their food. I’m a big fan of rice and people often ask me if I’m from Artibonite, which is a department of Haiti reputed for rice production, but I’m not. When I got to Gelee, to be more precise Kay Matant, I ordered rice but they did not have any. I was pretty upset because I really do not eat without rice being part of the meal. Yes I do not do well without my rice! I asked for an order of lambi (grilled conch). Matant promised me that I would be fully satisfied but I doubted it since I’m not a big fan of banann (plantains). I took a walk on the beach while my food was being prepared. I took a few pictures of the view and some with friends. It was bright and sunny and you could hear the waves, which was very calming.
When my grilled conch plate was ready, I took it to the car, still regretting not having rice. When I opened the take out plate, the fried plantains were crispy and flat. There was fresh onion rings, cut avocado, tomatoes and peppers. In the middle of the plantains were juicy grilled conches!! I know very few Caribbeans who dislike conch! For those of you who are not familiar with conch, it is a large sized snail. It can be fried, eaten raw, stir-fried, steamed or cooked in a curried or regular sauce. Haitian enjoy it every possible way, it’s just that good. I dipped a banann peze in the conch sauce, took a piece of avocado with it and I was sent to heaven and brought back! I kept eating and eating without even remembering my dear friend rice! Honestly, I did not finish the plate in one seating. I was full! I have to say i have never been satisfied without rice and I thank Kay Matant for making me step out of my comfort zone.
I will attempt to try this in the summertime. Have you been overseas and tried something new? Or just loved a meal that you consumed there? If you have, please share your experience with me. I’ll be glad to learn from you!