Haitian Griot: The History of the Dish

Although the griot is considered the main dish in Haitian cuisine, not too many people know about the history of the griot.

Haitian cuisine is known for its many delicious dishes, one of which is griot. This dish is always served at Haitian parties and is a must-have for anyone visiting the country.

Griot is meat usually made from pork shoulders. It is often cooked in a spicy sauce and served over rice or plantains.

Griot is a dish that Haitians usually serve at special occasions and events in Haitian culture. It is fried pork shoulder bits that can sometimes accompany rice and beans, salad, or fried plantains.

It’s a staple dish that can be served as a dinner or appetizer, usually accompanied by rice and beans, salad, or fried plantains. The recipe for it is pretty simple, but its taste is undeniably delicious.

Griot is made of pieces of pork shoulder that are salted, flavored, and then fried until crispy brown. It pairs beautifully with Haitian pikliz and fried plantains.

This Griot is Not the Same in History

In Africa, Griots are individuals who narrate stories, perform songs, and play music. Particularly in West Africa, a Griot holds a high social status.

Haitian Griot- Haitian Griot: The History of the Dish

However, it’s important not to confuse this with the term griot as used in Haitian culture, which refers to a specific dish.

Theories about the naming of the Haitian Griot primarily stem from the historical context associated with this dish.

Griots, as storytellers and musicians, originated in the 13th century. Since the inception of the Mande empire, they have been narrating stories that uphold its history, akin to a never-ending tale.

They disseminate their stories through music, playing instruments such as the ngoni, kora, or balafon. In some families, the instrument of choice was the kora.

The cut of pork associated with the Haitian Griot was reserved for Haitian citizens of the highest class and tourists because it was considered expensive meat. This is analogous to how African Griots were respected in society.

Haitian Griot Recipe

7 to 9 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 limes, cut in half
5 tablespoons pikliz
1.5 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
5 cloves
1.5 onion, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
2 thyme sprig
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
3 shallots, sliced thin
3 cups sos ti-malis

  • Wash the meat and then clean it with lime halves.
  • After that, rinse it with water again.
  • Mix pikliz, salt, black pepper, cloves of onion, and garlic in a large bowl.
  • Then add in thyme and green bell pepper and finally shallots.
  • Marinate the meat for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Cook the marinated meat for 40 minutes or until it is fork-tender.

Place the meat in an oven pan with some juices and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour, covered, and then another 30 minutes, uncovered, or until golden brown. Serve with rice, bannann peze, sos ti-malis, a mixture of pickled vegetables, and pikliz.

This will easily serve over 10 people

Related posts


  • That history of gryo is totally false. Haitian gryo has no connection to the West-african word Griot for story-teller.
    Gryo in Haitian Creole is derived from the French “griller…..pronounced gryer…meaning to grill or fry.
    And gryo was never reserved for any class of Haitians. It is and has always been a basic street food available to all classes. It’s basic fried pork.

    • A

      Thank you for your comment. You’re absolutely right, the heading was misleading and didn’t accurately reflect the contrast intended in the section. The mistake has been corrected now. I appreciate your valuable input which helped improve the content.

  • A

    1: Corrected 2: What is your suggestion for someone that is not into fry foods, but wants to enjoy some griyo ?

  • “Griot is meat usually made from either pork, beef, goat, or chicken. It is often cooked in a spicy sauce and served over rice or plantains.” I am sorry but Griot is purely pork meat. Beef or goat meats are called “tassot”
    Epi fem konprann kijan ou mete griyo a nan pot la ak foil la epi w servi l lan san li pa fri. Where did you get this recipe?