About the food of Suriname

:School girls Bigi Poika by Wa El

School girls in Bigi Poika. Photo by Wa El

Welcome to Suriname; welcome to South America. We haven’t cooked this part of the world in many months. And, in many ways, today might feel like we’re still somewhere else. That’s because Suriname’s food scene is all about fusion.

A melting pot, of sorts.

Nieuw Amsterdam. Photo by We El.

Nieuw Amsterdam. Photo by We El.

The food is at once typical of South America, but also laced with components from Indonesia, China, Africa, India, and even Europe. Surely, this is because of Suriname having once been a Dutch colony. Long ago, the Dutch connected the tropical rain forests and swampy flatlands of Suriname with these many regions of the world. Now, in the big cities, you can find everything from dhal, roti and chutney to creole stews and cassava breads…

Can I just point out that many restaurants of Paramaribo, the capital city, serve curry and chow mein?

So fun.

Market in Lelydorp, Suriname. Photo by Mark Ahsmann.

Market in Lelydorp, Suriname. Photo by Mark Ahsmann.

Maybe you’d like a side of deep fried plantains and spicy peanut sauce to go with that [Recipe]?

Sure thing.

In Suriname, you’d be as likely to cool off with Goedangan (a coconut-laced cabbage salad)  [Recipe]and a summertime sipper, like lemongrass infused dawet [Recipe], as you would in Asia.

It’s just that kind of place.

Maps and flag of Suriname courtesy of the CIA World Factbook.

Maps and flag of Suriname courtesy of the CIA World Factbook.

Like they say in Suriname, “You cannot eat okra with one finger.”

In other words, we all have to work together.

And look at the cuisine that results from such ‘fusion’ of effort.



  1. Brian S. says

    My native city owes something to Suriname. The Dutch conquered Suriname in the 1660s, chasing out the English sugar planters. England (during peace treaty negotiations) offered to return the trading port of New Amsterdam to Holland if only the Dutch would give back those sugar plantations. The Dutch refused, and England kept the port and renamed it New York City. Meanwhile, on those sugar plantations, slavery was legal until 1873, so it’s not surprising that some of the music, such as this song, from Suriname show strong African influence.


    • Sasha Martin says

      Ah yes! The butterfly continues to flutter those wings…and so the world changes… amazing.

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