Saturday, May 30, 2015

Some of the native dishes are particularly palatable, and far preferable to many of the badly cooked European foods that have been introduced #QotD

IMG_20150526_123349798_HDRMany of the Akras and also the Elminas are exceptionally good cooks, the men being much better than the women ... Some of the native dishes are particularly palatable, and far preferable to many of the badly cooked European foods that have been introduced. "Kankie" takes the place of bread, and is made from the flour of native corn, undergoing many operations before being boiled or roasted in plantain leaves and fit to eat. Many people prefer it to the sour English bread that is made on the coast, though this has considerably improved of late years.

"Fou-fou" is a tenacious mass composed of yam, plantain or cassada, which is peeled, boiled and pounded and then made into large balls, to be served up with the various kinds of native soups, in place of the European potato. It is much like boiled batter pudding, but more tenacious, and is very savoury. Freshly baked flour cakes seasoned with the oil of the palm kernel are much relished by the natives, but are far too rich for the visitor. Fish and stews are well prepared, and turtle is good and plentiful during the Harmattan season, but not after March. The fish mostly eaten by the native is a kind of herring, which abounds in the Guinea Gulf in immense numbers, and which, when cured, is carried far into the interior beyond Ashanti. When these fish are opened, cleaned, stuffed with green pepper and fried in the freshest and purest palm oil, it is called "Kinnau," and forms an admirable food. "Palm-oil chop" is another favourite dish on the West Coast of Africa from Sierra Leone to the Congo, some Europeans being very fond of it.

2015.05.26-DSC01440 The ingredients are freshly made palm oil, meat or fowl, well peppered and served up in a native pot with freshly boiled yam or "fou-fou" or rice. It is the curry of Africa, but is too rich a dish for many people. A liqueur of cognac after such a meal generally prevents a recurrence of its flavour. "Ground-nut soup" is a general favourite with most people on the coast, which is prepared in much the same way and with the same ingredients as " palm-oil chop," but with finely-pounded ground-nuts instead of palm oil as the basis. Last, but not least, is the native "kickie," a compound of finely-minced fowls or fish, high flavoured, and served up with " fou-fou " in the Accra-made pots of black porous earth into which the pepper thoroughly sinks. It is somewhat like the West Indian "pepper pot," and is very tasty to the palate. The Accra fowls are poor and stringy, but good ducks and turkeys are supplied from Ada and Jella Kofi, near Kwitta.

The Gold Coast, past and present : a short description of the country and its people (1898)
by George Macdonald, p. 204-205

No comments: