Surinamese Cuisine

Nasi Rames dish.

Nasi Rames dish.

Last week I tried Surinamese cuisine for the first time. I had already eaten take-away surinaamse broodjes for lunch (and learned about the Dutch colonial history in Suriname in the process), but this time we went to a proper Surinamese restaurant.

The food was unsual but tasty. It felt like a cross between Caribbean, Indian, and Indonesian food. Which makes sense, because while Suriname is geographically Caribbean, culturally it is a true melting pot – the population of indigenous Amerindians was complemented by immigrants from India, Java (Indonesia), China, the Netherlands, and West Africa (creole descendants of the slave trade).

Roti Chicken Curry dish.

So Surinamese food ends up like a mix of all of the above. My dish (“Roti Chicken Curry”) came with Indian-style roti bread, but the chicken that accompanied it reminded me more of food I’d eaten in London’s Carribean communities. And the pindasoep (peanut soup) that I had as an appetizer made me think of the various ground-nut sauces I’ve eaten in Africa.

Meanwhile, the dish my partner ordered looked very much like the Indonesian food we had eaten a few days before – mixed rice (also called nasi rames as in Indonesian), grilled meat on skewers seasoned with a sweet soy sauce, and prawn crackers. It seems that Surinamese food, like the country, has a mixed identity, and it’s a good mix.

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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.
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One Response to Surinamese Cuisine

  1. Ruth D. says:

    So what’s the name of the restaurant? I eat Surinamese food all the time, but have to make it myself. I’ve never really found a good restaurant where I live. Which is in the North by the way, but still… I’d love to know the name of the restaurant. It looks good!

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