Floribbean Cuisine

Floribbean cuisine is found in varying forms in Florida restaurants and in the homes of many Floridians throughout the state. The essence of what makes a particular dish “Floribbean” is similar to many other aspects of Floridian culture: that it is heavily influenced by visitors and immigrants from all over the world, but especially from the Caribbean (with notable influence from The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Haiti), Australia, and the American Deep South. In the case of the Southern Florida region in particular, a subdivision called Latino-Floribbean or Hispano-Floribbean cuisine also takes Latino cuisine traits from such countries as Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, adding further influences into the mix. To distinguish the Latino Caribbean style from the non-Latino Caribbean style, some employ the terms Afro-Floribbean cuisine and Indo-Floribbean cuisine, as the majority of the Caribbean islands are of either African or Indian heritage, which in turn were colonized by British, French, and Dutch settlers.-(Wikepedia) Visit MCCN’s Caribbean section: http://multiculturalcookingnetwork.com/regions/caribbean.html

Seared Tuna

Caribbean Food History

The Arawak, Carib, and Taino Indians were the first inhabitants of the Caribbean islands. 

 Carib, Island Carib, or Kalinago people, after whom the Caribbean Sea was named, live in the Lesser Antilles islands. They are an Amerindian people whose origins lie in the southern West Indies and the northern coast of South America.

 These first inhabitants occupied the present day islands of British Virgin Islands Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Their foods consisted of vegetables and fruits such as papaw, yams, guavas, and cassava.  The Taino started the process of cooking meat and fish in large clay pots. The Arawaks are the first people known to make a grate of thin green wood strips on which they slowly cooked meat, allowing it to be enhanced by the flavor of the wood.  This grate was called a taken from this early Indian cooking method.The Carib Indians added more spice to their food with hot pepper sauces, and also added lemon and lime juice to their meat and fish recipes.

Check out Caribbean Recipes and history at :  http://multiculturalcookingnetwork.com/regions/caribbean.html

Starbucks Foundation to Donate $1 Million Dollars to Haiti

 In response to the Haitian relief effort, Starbucks committed support and funding to the growing international relief effort. Participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will enable customers to make monetary donations at store registers, with no purchase necessary, to benefit the American and Canadian Red Cross organizations for a limited time. The Starbucks Foundation will also donate $1 million (U.S.) from The Starbucks Foundation to the American Red Cross efforts to help Haiti.  Furthermore, Wyclef Jean is collaborating efforts with Starbucks.

United in a Desire to Help Haiti

Haitian Star Wyclef and Colombian star Shikara

Statement From Shakira about the Haitian devastation:

The destruction and loss of life in Haiti causes us all to take stock in what is really important. This small country has endured so much – more than its fair share of tragedy. I can’t imagine the devastation that has struck an already weakened infrastructure. Critical services needed for recovery, such as schools and hospitals, have been destroyed.

The people of Haiti need our help immediately. Money will be needed to provide urgent emergency relief and I urge everyone who can afford to help to either donate to UNICEF’s emergency relief fund at www.unicef.org or text the word YELE to 501501 on your U.S. cell phone (this will charge your phone $5 – it will go to Wyclef Jean’s foundation which is playing a major role in the relief effort. For more information, see www.yele.org).

We must all act. As a global community, we must be part of the recovery of Haiti and its people.

Thank you.


Online Wine Magazine’s Innovative Fundraiser for Haiti

Photo Credit: Washington Post

The longtime online wine magazine, The 30 Second Wine Adviser has stepped up with an innovate catlyst to inspire their readers to get involved with efforts to help Haiti.  -Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor  

WLDG Haitian Relief Fundraiser: Raffle of Bordeaux, etc” to learn how we’re using fine wine as an added incentive to do what you were already likely to do: help out in Haiti through a contribution to the legitimate international charity-relief organization of your choice.

In brief, participation will be limited to 100 entrants. Begin by making a donation of at least $30 to a charity doing work directly in Haiti. Then read the forum fund-raiser discussion for details on reporting your contribution, which enters you in a raffle for various wines contributed by forum members. (You are also welcome to contribute wines for the raffle, although we’re not a non-profit organization and can’t offer a tax deduction.)

Contributors need not provide personal information other than your name and proof of your contribution. If you win a wine prize (numbers will be chosen by an intriguing random technique described in the forum discussion), it will be up to you and the donor of that wine to make arrangements for its delivery.

Here’s a list of worthy organizations we know to be mustering relief efforts in Haiti. Feel free to choose other appropriate recipients if you prefer, as long as the organization is currently, actively involved in Haitian relief.

* Doctors Without Borders/Medecins sans frontières
* American Red Cross
* Partners in Health
* Catholic Relief Services
* American Jewish World Service
* Episcopal Relief & Development

As the organizer of this initiative put it, “This is just a way to spur all of us with good intentions to do what we know we should do. Let’s have a little fun and help those in tremendous need. May the best man or woman win the best wine!”


Haiti Earthquake

Our hearts go out to the Haitian Community, those with love ones and friends in Haiti.  We sincerely hope that nothing more serious occurs.  The earthquake could be felt in the Dominican Republic which shares the same island with Haiti but with no severity.-Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor 

This Statement from the Associated Press: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/cb_haiti_earthquake

The largest earthquake ever recorded in the area shook Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help. Other buildings also were damaged and scientists said they expected “substantial damage and casualties.

Several reports are already in that Haitian Celebrity Wyclef Jean is already organizing relief efforts.   According Jam Showbiz Music, Former Fugees star Wyclef Jean is asking friends and fans to pray for the people of his native Haiti after the island was hit by three major earthquakes on Tuesday.

Pras Michel Speaks on Earthquake in Haiti

World Vision Relief Donations for Haiti:


Haitian Joumou Soup Recipe

Joumou is traditionally consumed every New Years’ on January 1 as a historical tribute to Haiti’s independence in 1804 where newly freed slaves consumed pumpkin soup, a meal forbidden them by their French masters.  READ MORE.

Note that Squash or pumpkin is used in this recipe.  


  • lb cubed, Beef Stew meat
  •  1 lb Chicken
  • 1 frozen Squash
  • 1 Boniata
  • 1 spinach
  •  1 malanga
  •  2 Onions-sliced
  • 3 large carrots
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • ¼ lb spaghetti or Noodles
  • 3 T seasoned salt
  •  2 limes, cut in half
  • 2 t thyme
  • 2 t parsley
  • ½ c Scallions salt,
  • black pepper, and hot pepper to taste

Joumou Soup Photo credit: Haitixchange.com


Clean the meat with hot water and lemon and set aside in a bowl. Add seasoning salt and set aside for 2 hrs. Boil meat in stockpot with 3 quarts of water until tender (about 1 ½- 2 hrs). Add more additional water if necessary and remaining ingredients except noodles. Cook for 20 minutes and add noodles.

Retrieved from http://recipes.wikia.com/wiki/Squash_Soup_(Soup_Joumou)

There are more great recipes at Wikia.com

Please let us know if there something you think adds to this recipe.  If there is a running theme among the comments then we will make changes so it feels culturally authentic.

The History of Haiti’s New Year’s Soup: Joumou

This submission was a suggestion by Nadine Eduoard.  She is of Haitian descent:

Soup Joumou is a traditional soup very popular and native to Haiti however other variations of it can be found throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a vivid soup made from pumpkins. The squash slices are simmered in a saucepan along with pieces of beef and vegetables such as potato, parsley, carrots, and onions. The end result is pureed, usually in a food processor with a variable amount of water. The puree is returned to the saucepan where salt and seasoning along with garlic and other herbs and spices are added. Thin pasta such as vermicelli and macaroni is sometimes put in. A little milk and butter is mixed in as well. The condiments included give the soup its characteristic taste of being mildly spicy. It is always served hot and usually accompanied with rice and bread. Sliced bread is a frequent side-dish and that makes the soup a sort of dip as well. Soup Joumou is traditionally consumed every New Years’ on January 1 as a historical tribute to Haiti’s independence in 1804 where newly freed slaves consumed pumpkin soup, a meal forbidden them by their French masters. -(Wikepedia)

Joumou Soup Recipe at: https://multiculturalcookingnetwork.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/1963/

A Brief History of Haitian Cuisine-A True Multi-cultural Experience (by Monica Johnson)

Freshly caught fish served on a leaf.

Freshly caught fish served on a leaf.

Looking for African influences in the Caribbean? Look no further than Haiti, where most of the population is of African descent. When the first Europeans came to settle in the land of the Arawak and Taino Indians, they brought oranges, limes, mangoes, rice, and sugar cane with them, but that’s not all they brought. They also brought African slaves and left them to work the sugar cane plantations.

“How did this come about?” you may ask. Well if you recall there was a man named Christopher Columbus who had a little something to do with the history of the Americas. Remember how Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, well guess where else he landed? Quite the busy little beaver, the explorer discovered the already inhabited land and claimed it for Spain. Spain called it Santo Domingo, but Columbus named it La Isla Espanola (The Spanish Island later to be called Hispaniola).  By the year 1520, the native Indians were almost completely wiped out from the hard slave labor the Spanish imposed  upon them and the revolts of the people leading to executions by the Spaniards. Sadly the Taino’s have no tangible legacy in the form of an existing people in Haiti; therefore, Africans were shipped over to the island to work on the sugar cane plantations.

The Africans introduced okra, ackee (red and yellow fruit), pigeon peas, taro (edible root with a nutty flavor). By the year 1700, the French had taken control of Hispaniola and with the African slave labor still in place, they expanded their commerce to include coffee, cotton, and cocoa. Haiti went on to win their own independence in 1804 becoming the first African-American led republic in the New World.

Haiti, originally  named by Taino Indians for its high ground, shares  Hispaniola with their spanish-speaking neighbor, the Dominican Republic. Occupying just the western third part of the island, Haiti still remains highly influenced by the French in its language, culture, and food. French cheeses, breads, and desserts have been integrated into the Haitian lifestyle. Haiti’s cuisine is often considered French or Creole; however the Spanish, African, and French influence make for a smorgasbord of flavor and a truly historical and  multi-cultural experience.

The difference between Haitian and other Caribbean cuisine in a word: Peppery

Method of cooking: Often slow coked and wrapped in banana or plantains and leaves for several hours. An African method of cooking is still employed today, using coals and placing them in a hollowed-out area of the ground. The food is then placed atop the coals with the leaves covering it for ultimate slow cooking results.

Try this at home: In the mood for a Haitian creole specialty, click here for a recipe for Haitian griot (fried pork).

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