I root for the underdog.
It’s not because I’m one of those old guys who gets all misty-eyed every time Rudy throws the ball extra far and some lame VHS soundtrack swells in the background; if I really wanna get sad I’ll just tromp on down to the frozen food section at my local whatever-mart.
No, I root for the lesser-known stuff because the mostly-known gets boring. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing good or wonderful about getting some really tasty, familiar food. There’s a place in the darker parts of this country (read: Florida) that has a Cuban sandwich I would commit a multitude of crimes for. And I’d do it every. Single. Time. It’s that good.
It’s also repetitive.
You can get good flavor nearly anywhere, but getting the spark? The “holy cow, what is that?” as a side dish to a quality main course? That’s rare, friends. That’s something you only get from being slapped in the face with some food you’ve never, ever heard of before.
I’m giving you that food this week, and it’s called Haitian food.
I’ve heard people rant and rave and spit over Colombian food, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican, every damn type of food you can get with a tilde over the name except for Haitian, and that’s a complete crime. And the reason’s simple: that other stuff has been done to death. It’s still tasty, but it’s been iterated, iterated, and reiterated until it’s been turned into a five dollar special at Applebee’s.
Sure it’s a shame nobody’s tasted the goodness that is Haitian food, but that comes with a nice double-edged sword effect: the stuff is pure. Untouched. There’s no Haitian-Style Goat Nibblers clogging up the chain restaurants, and that’s a good thing. Eat up the stuff; just don’t put it through the copyright wringer over at Strip Mall Menus Incorporated and we can all get along.
—Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats