My family brought many cultural foods with them from Guyana, such as different rices, curry, sweets and roti. Roti is a kind of soft, flat bread typically eaten with curry but can be eating with other things of your choice. There are many different types of roti: dhalpuri (made with peas), potato roti, paratha roti (plain roti). In my opinion, this food is one of a kind because in Guyanese culture it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether you go to a Guyanese wedding or party you will be guaranteed to find roti. Also when family members or family friends come to visit us from Guyana, they will most likely be served roti. The first time I tried to make roti on my own, it was a mess and my family had a good laugh. I clapped the roti, a Guyanese term that describes the method of releasing the air bubbles from the roti after it’s cooked, at the wrong time and added the wrong amount of the ingredients. To tell if the roti is properly cooked, it is tossed in the air and clapped with both hands repeatedly as soon as it’s off the stove. Your hands will feel like they’re on fire because of the amount of heat it takes while clapping. I still remember my sister’s exact words, “it smells like roti but it doesn’t taste like it.” Eventually I asked my mother and grandmother to teach me, and while I’m not as perfect at making roti as they are, hopefully by the time I have children of my own I can pass on the tradition and teach them as well.
– Aisha Boston