Conducting a little research on Facebook, made me see that in Suriname we don’t really have authentic Surinamese street foods. There are some, but not many. While I think that street foods should be prepared on the streets, others think differently. As long as the food is ready to eat and they can buy it on the street, it’s called street food to them.
According to Wiktionary, street food is food obtainable from a street-side vendor, often from a makeshift or portable stall. While Wikipedia explains it further: Street food is ready-to-eat food or drink sold in a street or other public places, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable stall. While some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. Most street foods are also classed as both finger food and fast food and are cheaper on average than restaurant meals.
According to a 2007 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day. Today, people may purchase street food for a number of reasons, such as to obtain reasonably priced and flavorful food in a sociable setting, to experience ethnic cuisines, and also for nostalgia. Historically, street food was purchased, because the urban poor did not have kitchens in their homes.
One of my chef friends said: “We don’t really have street food in Suriname. Because of the mixed culture and the immigration, 90% is actually from somewhere else. Or brought over from somewhere else. We learn from other countries and try it here.” Another friend said: “The market and culture in Suriname is not yet intended for this, hopefully someday.“
While we all know that you can find barbecue in most countries, our Surinamese BBQ tastes are not the same. We’ve got influence from all the different cultures we have in our beautiful country. At least 7 cultures have made the ingredients to our BBQ mix the most splendid, and these marinades are now found in different countries that are “close” to Suriname, such as the Netherlands, Curacao, Aruba, etc.
Here’s a list of Street Foods in Suriname:
While the world knows about barbecue, Suriname has a different taste just like any other country has its own flavor. As stated before, the marinade used for our Surinamese BBQ flavor is a mixture of our 7 main cultures. The flavors of the Creole, Maroon, Amer-Indian (the indigenous peoples), Hindu, Chinese, Javanese, and Caucasians became a melting pot of ingredients, our own marinade. Of course, every Surinamese has their own mixture at home. Some will add a little spiced red wine, to differ the flavor from all the others near them. While in Europe or in America you would say that there’s a McDonald’s on every corner, in Suriname you can say that there is a BBQ stall on every corner.
Shaved ice is a type of ice cream that is mainly known in Indonesia, the British West Indies, Vietnam, Suriname, Venezuela and Brazil, but also in the United States where it is known as snow cone. A block of ice is placed on a cart. This ice is shaved with a metal ice scraper. The ice flakes are collected in the ice flakes and then placed in a cup. Then the ice is poured over with syrup. Syrup flavors that can often be seen on such a “slicing cart” are: cola, coconut, tamarind, almond drink (orgeade, (h) orchatta), passion fruit (markusa / maracuja) and pineapple. This phenomenon is increasingly common in the Netherlands, although the flavors seem to be somewhat adapted to Dutch culture and taste, with flavors such as strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apple and orange.
Warm black pudding, meat sausage and chicken sausage are for sale on the street. The sausage is a little looser, seasoned much spicier than normal, and is sold from a warm spicy broth.
A selection from one of the delicacies that many Afro-Surinamese enjoy eating. Some of these also occur at Surinamese parties, street parties and festivals. These delicacies are also more often proudly mentioned when asked about Afro-Surinamese delicacies.
Satay or sate in Indonesian and Malay spelling, is a Southeast Asian dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce. It also recognized and popular in Suriname and the Netherlands.
Bajan Foodies love these dishes in Barbados:
- Bajan chicken soup with pigtail and dumplings
- Ham cutters Bajan hot-sauce
- Flying fish cutter
- Bread in 2 (salt-fish cakes with cheese)
- Fried Necks and gizzards
Typically found in Trinidad & Tobago:
- Doubles: Doubles is undeniably the most popular street food on the island. It resembles a vegetarian sandwich. This food is made up of 2 baras (pieces of fried dough), filled with channa (chickpea), topped with various sauces such as pepper sauce, cilantro sauce, tamarind sauce, and coconut chutney, grated cucumber, or kuchela. Or all of the above!
- Corn Soup: This soup is filled with lots of corn, potatoes, carrots, yellow split peas, pumpkin, dumplings, and many spices in a rich coconut-based broth. One can find this “after-party” meal served on the streets everywhere, after football games and every late-night party.
- Gyros: Trinidadian Gyros! There is a Syrian/Lebanese population in Trinidad, thus, it was only natural that their favorite meal made it to the food scene of Trinidad and Tobago. The base of the Gyro is the same in terms of the spit-roasted meat. However, the local vegetables and sauces are what make the difference.
- Souse (Chicken-foot: Pork et al): Souse is made from either chicken feet or pig’s trotters with cucumbers marinated in lime juice, onion, and peppers. At first, it does not have the most appealing look, especially when one sees bony feet sticking out of the pot. However, for adventurous foodies, it is a snack that is worth it!
- Fried/ Jerk Chicken Wings & Fries: This simple yet insanely delicious meal will certainly satisfy the hungriest fete-goer. What’s the best part? It can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Be sure to head to your closest Massy Stores to stock up on Wings as well as fries.
Text and some of the pictures credits to Chef's Pencil.
- Tutu ku bakijou (Tutu with Bakkeljauw): Bakkeljauw is white fish (cod) that is preserved in salt. Curaçao Tutu is a side dish made from corn flour, much like funchi or polenta. But Tutu is a bit more elaborate and also has a lot more taste. It’s a bit sweet and contains kidney beans, salt meat and lots of spices. It is delicious with stews, such as the Bakkeljauw.
- Jambo (okra soup): Jambo is a delicious soup of okra and mixed meat. It has a very special texture that is caused by the okras. These make the water of the Jambo a bit slimy. When you lift a spoonful of the soup out of your bowl it pulls threads and you may have to get used to that.
- Funchi ku snij bonchi (Curaçao Polenta with string beans): Funchi or Curaçao Polenta is often eaten here instead of rice or potatoes. It is a firm mass of boiled corn flour that does not have much flavor on its own, but is therefore excellent to eat in combination with another dish. Such as the stewed string beans, which is a stew of string beans and meat.
- Rabu stoba (Stewed Oxtail): Just like the Karni stoba, stewed beef. Is this dish the stewed oxtail. You can eat it together with funchi, white rice or with “Aros moro”. Aros moro is Curaçao kidney bean rice.
- Komkomber chiki (Braised West Indian Cucumbers): This is a typical Caribbean cucumber with spines and a tail. It is called the West Indian Gherkin or Burr Gherkin. This dish can be served with both meat and vegetarian dishes. For the vegetarian version, you can just omit the pork tail and salt meat.
- Pão de queijo (cheese bread): A light and fluffy snack with roots that reach back to the time of slavery. Literally ‘cheese bread’, Pao de Queijo are light and fluffy and made using soft cheese and cassava flour. Popularly eaten as a breakfast food, this snack can be eaten at any time of the day or night. They can be served ‘as is’ hot from the oven, or they can be cut open and stuffed with even more cheese, or jam if you are craving a sweeter fix.
- Picanha (barbecued beef): It’s all about the beef with this cowboy classic. Picanha refers to a prized cut of beef that corresponds to the top part of a sirloin. This juicy and tender cut retains its fat, which lends it even more flavour when charred to perfection on the barbecue. It is usually seasoned with rock salt, though black pepper can be added too after it has been cooked.
- Açai na Tigela (Açai in the Bowl): Açai na tigela consists of frozen açai palm fruit mashed into a smoothie and served in a bowl or a glass. Though the dish is popular throughout Brazil, there are some differences in traditional preparation from region to region. In the north of the country, where the dish originated, a savoury version employing shrimp or dried fish with tapioca is common. In the south, the açai palm fruit is often mixed with other fruits or guaraná syrup and topped with banana or granola.
- Brigadeiros (chocolate balls): Named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, a famous Brazilian political figure of the 1940s, Brigadeiros are chocolate sweets that are popular with sweet-toothed adults and children alike. Requiring little more than condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder to make, these sweets became popular during World War II due to the fact that no fresh ingredients are required to make them.
- Kibe (meat patties): A Brazilian interpretation of a Middle Eastern classic.