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Good food, finally!

February 23, 2010

Ghanaian food is excellent.  And I’m not saying that as someone who was stuck eating rice for three weeks; the food here is genuinely really good.  It’s flavorful, hearty, spicy and full of variety.  Maybe not always healthy, but then again the healthiest foods usually aren’t the best anyway.  For instance, the dish you see above is called Red Red, and it’s beans with palm oil (which is red, hence “Red Red”), fried plantains and fried fish.  It’s fantastic

This right here is a big bowl of fufu.  Fufu is pounded cassava root and pounded plantains mixed together, and it feels like gummy elastic.  It’s rather bland on its own.

But then when you put some groundnut soup (a spicy soup made with peanuts) and chicken on top….. mmmmmmm.  The soup kind of sinks down around the fufu and you have to work to get as much soup as possible with each wad of fufu.  It’s so good. 

I’d been looking forward to eating with my hands since arriving in Africa, and in Liberia people didn’t eat with their hands.  Eating soup with fufu is an acquired talent, but it’s a lot of fun and you eat a lot more slowly. 

And then we have this baggie of what looks like sludge.  I went to a little road-side store to buy some water, and I saw these baggies sitting there but I didn’t buy one because they looked disgusting.  Then my colleague went to the same store and he came back, asking me if I wanted to try “the best thing ever.”  I was a little curious, so I took a baggie and bit off the tip.  Yikes.   It was essentially water mixed with sugar and ginger and hot pepper (they said there was no pepper in it, but there’s no way ginger can be that spicy).  It made my throat and mouth feel like they were on fire. 

Huh….. I got violently ill a couple nights ago and I wonder if it was because I drank this homemade juice from a bag that came from who-knows-where.  That was probably a poor decision.  Let this be a lesson to everyone: it’s okay to drink from plastic baggies as long as they were pre-sealed in a factory, not someone’s back yard.  It’s all about the quality control.

Next stop: DC!!!  Nate made me brownies from scratch that will be waiting for me when I get home, and I absolutely can’t wait.  Oh, and it will be nice to see him again too 🙂

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2010 9:13 pm

    ahh. plantains fried in palm oil. yum. i ate a good number of those in Cameroon years and years ago. for a while i was determined to recreate them at home. the closest i got was by allowing the plantains to ripen until they were nearly dead (i.e. entirely black) and using a healthy amount of oil.

  2. February 27, 2010 9:23 am

    I’ve tried the exact same thing, but the results are never as good as what I’m hoping for. Maybe it’s because the idea of actually deep frying something kind of scares me so I don’t use enough oil! Either way, it appears that I’ll have to enjoy fried plantains when I’m in Africa since I can’t reliably make them here. Thanks for checking out my blog!

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