May 3, 2010

Food in Ghana for beginners

You may wish to read a post I did for Suite 101 about food in Ghana. It's a primer, really, for first-timers or those interested in food in Ghana, West Africa or Africa in general. It's not the definitive guide, but it is a start. I outline the main and most popular dishes in Ghana as well as some tips on where to find certain foods like vegetables and bread for visitors.

Here is an excerpt:

"While each region has its specialty, fufu transcends regional boundaries in Ghana. Fufu consists of a gooey ball of pounded vegetables sitting in a bowl of one of three main soups.

In the south of Ghana the fufu tends to be made from boiled and pounded cassava and plantain, whereas in Tamale and further north, fufu is made from pounded yam alone. After boiling, the vegetables are pounded in a large wooden mortar with a four foot long wooden pole as a pestle. One or two people hold the pole and pound, while one person crouches by the bowl and turns the sticky ball, defying the threat of a broken hand every time the pole comes thudding down.

Food by Country describes fufu thus: "A staple throughout West Africa, including Ghana, is fufu (boiled plantain, cassava, or rice that is pounded with a large mortar and pestle into a round ball)."

Unlike the small, orange or purplish vegetable known by most North Americans as yam, Ghanaian yams are white on the inside and brown and woody on the outside. They are approximately 16 to 20 inches long and weigh more than three pounds, on average."

Read more at Suite101: Food in Ghana for travelers, expats and volunteers

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