Mulina di kushina

Chila’s mother used this kitchen mill to make all kinds of sweet and savory snacks. “My mother was born to Bonairian parents but grew up in Venezuela. By the time she came to Curaçao some Venezuelan traditions had already been adopted on the island, like eating ayakas during the Christmas period. Every year my mother would grind corn in the kitchen mill to make ayaka dough. Nowadays you can buy cornflour to do the job! She also grinded peanuts to make lèter and black eyed peas to make kala.”

The list of Curaçaoan snacks is almost endless and reflects the multicultural heritage of the people of the island. Kala are black eyed pea fritters that traveled to Curaçao from Nigeria where they are known as akara. The S-shaped peanut cookie lèter originated in Curaçao itself. A popular theory says that the letter S stands for seú, the harvest fest.

The extent to which adopted snacks have been modified over the years could tell us something about how the people liked the original version. The Dutch kroket kept its name and shape but gained a new taste and structure to become the Curaçaoan krokèt. The Venezuelan hallaca hardly changed except for the prunes and the spelling.

“The list of Curaçaoan snacks is almost endless.”