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By its construction, the Iron Market completely differs from all the other markets in Haiti. Sometimes it is also called Hyppolite Market because of the former president (Florvil Hypolite) who acquired from France the metal structure for its construction. Arrived from Paris in spare parts in Haiti, assembled, he had the beauty of a postcard. It was built in the 1890's, inaugurated in 1981, hit by a fire in 2008 and destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. In 2011,Digicel (a phone company) rebuilt it identically for the sum of 18 millions of dollars.
It is classified as a historical heritage by the Hatian Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (ISPAN).
In the Haitian culture , fruits are consumed in their natural state but are also used to make delicious juices. The soursop for instance, a big green fruit with a white pulp can be mixed with evaporated milk, sugar and kernel extract to make a great juice.
As for the vegetables, they are mainly consumed cooked with meat to go along with rice. Thus, you can be sure that you’re buying and consuming products in all their freshness. While you’ll be there make sure you try a soursop juice in a nearby restaurant.
Spices are used a lot in Haitian gastronomy. Be it sweet spices, salted or hot, each one of them are very useful when it comes to cooking. You surely have already tasted and liked a Haitian dish. As a matter of fact, going to the Iron Market will lead you to the whole range of spices that enhance the taste of a meal which is already delicious by itself.
As for the sweet spices, they are particularly used for sweet dishes (oatmeal, porridge, etc.), desserts (cake, rice bread, sweet potato pie, etc.).
There are many condiments in Haitian cuisine. Depending on the region, two of them are mostly used to add a greater taste to a meal :
The first one is simply known as «spices» (it is a mixture of green onion, garlic, leek, hot pepper, vegetable oil, etc. mixed together in a blender). This mixture is used to marinate meat before cooking it.
The second one is called «pikliz» (it’s a mix of cabbage, little slices of carrot, garlic, extra hot pepper soaked in vinegar). Depending on personal tates, pikliz can accompany fish, omelet, tasso (fried goat or beef meat), gryo (fried pork meat) and many more foods.
Go visit the merchants selling great outfits that will let you be ahead of fashion. There are clothes from the USA, Europe, etc. You will absolutely look stunning and will be able to make it to your special event, regardless of the outfit chosen.
Bargain and make an offer that the seller can’t refuse.
The merchants (most of them are women) have all kind of products for body and hair. You will reach beauty at its best with these products. Just like the clothes, you will find brands from USA and Europe. Well-known brands such as Covergirl, Maybelline, L’Oréal, Dark & Lovely and much more.
Be pretty by spending less.
While visiting the craft products kiosks, you’ll notice that craft is Haitians’ area of expertise. Practically any craft object can be found.
You will certainly need a hat to protect yourself from the midday sun while going from one kiosk to another. Ask a merchant for a beautiful straw hat that will give you comfort, protection and freshness.
Yes, you’ll find beautiful painting carved in wood, knickknacks, mortar and pestle, pipes, baskets, etc.
While you’ll be in Port-Au-Prince, put the Iron Market on the list of places you’ll visit for sure.
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