Pom, Pom, Pomtayer,

You know, when you live in France or the US, Surinamese cuisine isn’t really on the map.  I don’t know why, as it’s super delicious in that spicy, comforting way that makes me scrounge in the fridge the next day hoping for leftovers to have for breakfast.  Thanks to our friends Mark and Klary, last night we cooked, nibbled, gobbled and giggled our way through a home-made Surinamese feast.

I’m not saying that in Amsterdam everybody licks their plates.

I’m not even saying that our dinner was so good that everybody licked the pots and pans.  But as you can see, somewhere, someone did something like that.

We started with two Surinamese sausages, a pork sausage and a blood sausage, with two spicy relishes.  The sausages were rich and sweet, and the relishes sent some gasping for beer, others licking their glowing lips in contentment.

Next there were pork-stuffed cabbage rolls with this lovely peanut sauce, an Indonesian dish that felt right at home in Surinamese company.

The main event was pom, a dish I’ve been waiting to taste for about a year, since Mark first wrote about making it.  It’s chicken baked for a long time in a blanket of grated malanga root, called pomtayer, mixed with fruit juices, salted beef, and other mystery ingredients.  The pomtayer goes into the pan fluffy and emerges an hour and a half later creamy and a bit crunchy and very reminiscent of Thanksgiving stuffing, in the best possible way.

Seved with long beans wokked with sweet soy sauce and chicken sausage, spicy little pickles, and a cooling cucumber salad, I found it utterly irresistable.  Only the fact that I was a guest kept me from licking the pot myself.

For dessert Klary made poffertjes, a kissing cousin of aebleskiver.

The little pancakes nestled on a plate with her homemade frozen custard and a good pour of a spiced Dutch eggnog, which, if truth be told, was the combination that inspired the lick-fest that ended the evening.

Of course it wasn’t all about the food.  Or the drink, although I have to say that Alsatian wines are a surprisingly good match to Surinamese dishes.  There was music, with the Carolina Chocolate Drops doing a credible a stand-in for something more authentic.  There were the hours spent cooking together in Klary and Dennis’ beautiful kitchen.  There were Mark and Mara being adorably silly together, as I suspect they’ve been doing since they met as teenagers.  And, ok, I’ll admit it.  There was leftover pom for breakfast.

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10 Comments on “Pom, Pom, Pomtayer,”

  1. Mark Says:

    Wow, Abra…I knew you would fix my presentation issues in post-production. Great photos as always…now for Round Two!

  2. Lori in PA Says:

    It sounds like a lovely time for all. Thanks for sharing.


  3. I am soooo jealous! You lucky dogs! Sitting here in Italy drooling over home made Surinamese food!

  4. rachel d Says:

    Abra—This is charming. What a lovely evening amongst friends!!!

    You captured the gleam of the kitchen, the scents in the air, the happy talk and laughter while sharing a wonderful time of cooking and eating. And there cannot be enough of your beautiful photography.

    Just lovely. Thank you.

    rachel

    ps: serene decrepitude—may I borrow that? I know other places, far from that water-hushed world, which fit that phrase exactly. Perfect.

  5. Chidi Says:

    I’m glad you liked the food. I’m from Suriname and I know what you’re talking about:-) This is just a little bit of the whole cuisine. We have a wide variety of cultures in Suriname and all have their own typical dishes. I surely recommend everybody to pay a visit to Suriname and taste the different exotic types of food!

  6. Deborah Says:

    Loved reading about “my” Surinamese cuisine through someone else’s eyes (and taste buds). Pom is one of my all time favorite dishes!!
    You should try Pindasoep or, roughly translated: Peanutsoup!

  7. Abra Bennett Says:

    I sure wish I could find Surinamese ingredients here. I still dream about that dinner!

  8. Liz Bier Says:

    Wow, didn’t know we both enjoyed The Caroina Chocolate Drops! Who knew? Have seen them twice in Atlanta! Finally back to reading your blog – slow going for of me because I read in bed at night and don’t last long, but making my way through the years slowly but surely. Miss you much, Abra!

  9. Abra Bennett Says:

    Thanks, Liz. Happy reading!

  10. Bina singh ardjoensing Says:

    I am from Suriname. Hope you all go visit Suriname.. Try the bamie soup. All the food from Suriname is tasty. Yummy…


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