Dominica creole breakfast platter
Bonjour! Bon journe Creole
Annually, many countries that embrace creole culture recognize its richness with celebrations and awareness while culminating with festivities on a special day, Creole Day—Journee Creole. The recognition of this day happens on either the last Friday or Sunday in October. These countries include the islands of the Indian Ocean—Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues and Seychelles, some Caribbean islands, even some areas in Europe, USA, Latin America, Cuba, Brazil, Canada, and Australia.
People who identify as Creole have developed this pride in their history, from a culture born during the colonization era. A culture that erupted on the plantations—one born in sufferings but developed into a new, dynamic, rich, and modern representation that keeps on innovating and embracing nuances of empowerment.
Caribbean countries like Dominica and St. Lucia, have had a stable and rich history of celebrating the creole culture through music, food, architecture, way of life, clothing, dances, and language. They have strongly developed and nurtured this culture, passing it down through generations. And their lived experiences make it easier for transitional adaptation from one generation to the next. Their people celebrate with a sense of pride in their creole identity and culture.
Growing up in Dominica, creole culture was part of my way of life. I learned to speak Creole at a very early age, imitating my grandmother. I often used my creole language to impress the elders in my village and took pride in absorbing it. To this day, I speak very fluent Creole, and have tried relentlessly to pass it down to my children.
The attire was one that I took pride in during the creole season. I enjoyed wearing the madras jupe, with the laced petticoat, sash, and, most importantly, the headpiece. I used to wear the headpiece that protruded upwards, stuffed with paper, and donned intricate designs that utilized straight pins, and was fully secured on my head with bobby pins. Yet, when I participated in Miss Jupe at my high school, Wesley High School, a family member, affectionately known as Popo, allowed me to wear her daughter Marcella’s headpiece. Although I didn’t come in the first place, I felt like a winner. Her headpiece was flat and with beautiful madras colors and a gorgeous brooche. This is the same headpiece she had used for a national event. The attire was also worn during some of the dances.
I especially enjoy or cultural dances. Bele was my dance of choice, even though I secretly wanted to learn to dance quardrille. I mastered the heel and toe and often used it in performances at the Thibaud Primary School. I also loved choreographing dances to creole rhythms and songs, and always had willing participants to help me put on a show and bring those dances to life. Those memories helped shaped my childhood and youth, and subsequently enhanced my love of our culture.
While I remain fascinated by the language, dance, attire, and the events, I couldn’t avoid the food’s influence. Food was central to our appreciation of our creole culture. It offered us a strong connection to our past while always creating nostalgic feelings. Although the lines are blurred between creole foods and Dominican foods, my Dominica creole breakfast platter gives a great representation of our breakfast foods. Here are some of the many foods that help define us and our creole culture: callaloo, souse, titiwi accra, pelau, bakes, pumpkin soup, cassava, dumbway pois and vwan coushon, braff, tonton roasted breadfruit, codfish, smoke herring, coubouillon cocoa tea, fried fish and more.
As we continue to embrace Dominica’s creole foods’ core, I find myself an ambassador, spreading our food culture and pushing the envelope to innovate on them. I created this Dominica Creole breakfast platter that my family of five feasted on in celebration of Journe Creole/ Creole Day. With all the favorite things that we appreciate, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I feel very blessed to be able to have access to these goodies and even more blessed that I’m able to recreate some of the foods that my mother took the time to share with us.
If you’re in Dominica, and hoping to enjoy creole festivities, take a look at the Discover Dominica site for more information.
Dominica creole breakfast platter
- Roasted breadfruit
- Green boiled bananas
- Smoke herring
- Fried snapper
- Titiwi accra
- Deviled eggs
- Fried plantains
- Watermelon balls
- Cabbage and carrot
- Cocoa tea