As a percentage of the state’s total, MA has the second biggest Haitian population in the country (FL is first by a mile). It’s no wonder that there is a bounty of excellent Haitian eateries here. I’m barely at the start of my journey to explore them all, but ready to get the documentation of the journey started.
Haitian food is very diverse and I’m not going to pretend I’m qualified to deliver a primer. But I will say this: Haitians know poultry. If you want a cuisine where every part of the bird is used and every morsel of flavor is extracted, you’re not going to beat Haitian.
Case in point: the Turkey in Sauce at Sunrise Cuisine. I love dishes with names like this, where what sounds mundane and boring is actually something highly involved and complex. A lengthy marinade in a cornucopia of ingredients with sour orange at the forefront, multiple cooking stages that go from dry heat to wet heat and then back again, creating an end product with texture that’s simultaneously fall-off-the-bone tender, and near jerky-like stiff in parts. All the rich poultry juices get incorporated into the marinade ingredients and the bird is served with plenty of that ridiculously intoxicating liquid.
And here’s the thing Haitian cooks do better than any others I know: butcher and serve turkey bones to expose gorgeous, easily scoopable marrow. That marrow scooped onto rice and beans is death-row-meal-good.
Sunrise Cuisine is in the Malden shopping mall with Mulu Ethiopian Restaurant. For now, map yourself to Mulu, because Google has the Sunrise address wrong.