The Haitian Meat Cleaning Process
So you just purchased some meat and you are about to prepare it for cooking. In many cultures its as simple as opening the package rinse the meat and add your seasoning. This is not the case when it comes to cooking Haitian food.
The Haitian Meat cleaning process usually involves the following steps:
- Removing the skin, excess and visible fat, any remaining chicken feathers and the heel of the chicken.
- Then the meat is scrubbed with sliced limes and place individual pieces into a bowl.
- Take hot boiling water and pour into bowl and let sit for 30-45 seconds, making sure that the water covers every piece of meat.
- Drain and rinse with cool water, examining and ensuring that there is no excess fat remaining.
- Finally lime juice and seasoning is added to the meat.
I have asked many cooks why they do this and the answer is always to clean the meat and this was how I was taught.
After doing a lot of research with some older cooks, I found out that the reason this process was in place was to protect Haitian without refrigeration from getting sick. After an animal was slaughtered there wasn’t an effective way to keep bacteria from accumulating on meat. If you are in a country where the slaughter process is more advance there is no need to perform these steps, but what you lose is the authentic Haitian Flavor. So if you have skipped this step in the past and have wondered why the food doesn’t taste as good as mom or grandma’s meal this could be the reason.