Cremas, also spelled Kremas or cremasse, is a popular beverage in Haiti, frequently served at social events and during the holidays (typically during Christmas). It is most often accompanied by a sweet pastry of some kind. The drink has a creamy consistency just like a thick milkshake or egg nog, and varies in colour from off-white to beige.
Cremas is usually heavily spiced and also includes rum. The mix of spices includes cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, and some extracts like vanilla and almond. It is also made with milk and coconut.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Cremas is believed to have been a part of Haitian cuisine since its independence, along with Soup Joumou. Both dishes have continued to be the ultimate festive food and drink since January 1, 1804, when the country gained its independence.
Cremas can generally last up to two years if kept in a cool, sealed place. After it’s opened, it’ll be fit for consumption for about 9 to 12 months if kept in the fridge.
Haitian Cremas Recipe
- Carnation milk - 1 can
- Condensed milk – 1 can
- Unsweetened coconut milk – 1 can + 1 cup
- Cinnamon sticks - 2
- Star Anise - 5
- Nutmeg - 1 tsp.
- Cream of coconut - 2 cans
- Vanilla extract - 2 tsp.
- Almond extract - 1 tsp.
- White sugar - 1 cup
- Salt - 1 pinch
- Lime – 1 (Zest is optional)
- Haitian rum - 1 cup
- Begin by taking a saucepan and adding the carnation milk. Over a low flame, heat it.
- Now, pour in the coconut milk. Make sure to keep stirring to combine well. Continue to mix until the coconut milk is dissolved entirely.
- It’s time to add the cream of coconut milk and condensed milk. Remember to keep stirring in a circular motion until the ingredients are dissolved completely.
- Next, add sugar, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, vanilla extract and almond extract. Keep in mind that you should keep combining until the sugar has entirely dissolved.
- After all the ingredients have been added, let the dish heat through. Remember to not bring it to a boil, as this will cause your dish to burn at the bottom of the vessel and not thicken when it’s time to add the lime.
- Allow the kremas to heat through over a low flame for the next 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring in a circular motion frequently.
- Now take a sieve and strain the dish. Once done, let the kremas sit and cool for 4 to 6 hours. You can also allow it to rest overnight if you have time.
- Add fresh lime juice to the beverage while continuing to stir. You can also zest the lime before including it in the juice. However, it is totally optional.
- Finally, add the rum or vodka. Once you are done, shift the kremas to a bottle. Refrigerate and voila!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g