Pom of Suriname

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Suriname. This was the first country we picked that I’d never heard of in my life. I assumed it was in Africa. Africa has a lot of countries, right? Spencer, having memorized every country name, their capitals, and where they are located, quickly corrected me. Suriname is in South America, and it is one of the smaller countries that comprises it.

Pom, a casserole-styled dish, is celebrated and beloved in Suriname. Easily, the most exotic ingredient of this dish (also the most difficult part to integrate in the dish) was pomtajer, or taro root. I bought a little less than the specified amount in the recipe, for it was quite expensive in Toledo. After you grate the root, (Spencer and I had to take turns, it took some time), to combine it with some cooking liquid and citrus pulp to create a pasty dough. It’s supposed to create a layered dish – a layer of pom dough, then the meat, then more dough. As you can tell, my Pom is not nicely layered due to having less of the dough. The flavors came across, though familiar, and the dish was comforting and warm and delicious. A spin on the casserole for all the Minnesotan, hot-dish loving folks out there!

Ingredient List

  • Whole chicken
  • Salt pork or chicken sausage
  • Pomtajer
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Chicken bouillon
  • Nutmeg (1 T!)
  • Juice of 1 orange, 1 lemon
  • Garlic cloves
  • 1 hot pepper
  • Sugar
  • s + p

Trivial Trifles

  • The capital of Suriname is Paramaribo
  • The official language is Dutch – the only country outside of Europe where Dutch is used by the majority of the people
  • Suriname identifies with the Caribbean culture, and is a member of Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
  • Sranan, a English based Creole language, is widely used in Suriname
  • The people of Suriname are known to be made of a multitude of ethnic groups, including East Indian, Creole,  Maroons, Javanese (Southeast Asians), Mixed descent, Amerindian, Chinese, and White
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