Rice is a staple food along with cassava, sweet potatoes, plantains, chicken, and seafood. Favorite meals include Moksie alesie
(a creole rice dish with chicken, white beans, tomatoes, peppers, and spices), bami
(a noodle dish mixed with a dark sauce, fried chicken and a hot pepper mixture), saoto
( chicken soup) and poffertjes
(tiny dutch pancakes) Pom
is a root of the cassava family. It is ground into a mush and mixed into a casserole with fried chicken and baked in the oven. It is usually eaten with rice and is very popular on special occasions
Mealtime customs in Suriname can vary depending on the cultural background of the individuals involved. Suriname is known for its diverse population, and each ethnic group may have its own unique mealtime customs and traditions.
Family and Community Meals: Surinamese culture places great emphasis on family and community, and mealtime is often seen as an opportunity for bonding and socializing. Family members and friends gather around the table to share a meal, engage in conversations, and strengthen relationships.
Washing Hands: Before sitting down for a meal, it is common practice in Suriname to wash hands thoroughly. This is considered an important hygiene custom to ensure cleanliness before handling food.
Serving Food: Surinamese meals are often served family-style, with dishes placed in the center of the table for everyone to share. It is customary for the host or hostess to serve the guests before serving themselves as a sign of hospitality.
Eating with Utensils or Hands: Suriname's mealtime customs include a mix of utensils and hand usage. Depending on the dish, people may eat with spoons, forks, or their hands. For example, traditional Surinamese dishes like roti or saoto soup are often eaten by tearing off pieces of bread or roti and using them to scoop up the food.
Sharing and Generosity: Surinamese mealtime customs often revolve around sharing and generosity. It is common for people to offer food to others at the table, ensuring that everyone is well-fed and satisfied. This reflects the spirit of hospitality and community-oriented values.
Appreciation of Food: Surinamese cuisine is diverse and flavorful, and it is customary to show appreciation for the food that has been prepared. This can be done through compliments to the cook or by expressing enjoyment and gratitude for the meal.
Dining Etiquette: Basic dining etiquette, such as chewing with the mouth closed, not talking with a full mouth, and using utensils appropriately, is generally expected in Surinamese mealtime customs. These practices demonstrate respect for others at the table and promote a pleasant dining experience.
Cultural Influences: Surinamese mealtime customs are influenced by the various cultural backgrounds present in the country. Depending on the ethnic group, customs such as eating with hands, using specific spices or ingredients, or observing religious dietary restrictions may be followed.