Ever have a dusty, bumpy bad kind of day? A day where you want to toss your cares into someone else’s hands? In a remote corner of Gabon, “Full service” takes on a whole new meaning: first they fill up your tank, then they wash your windshield, and finally, while you wait, women hand scrub your delicates. That’ll improve any bumpy bad day! Just be sure you have time to wait for the clothes to line-dry. In the midst of this simple life reigns a cuisine that is as much French as it is African, particularly in the city.
As a former French colony it is no surprise that the omelet is everywhere [Recipe]. Eggs are plentiful, healthy, and affordable. Served with French fries or bitter greens makes for a filling meal. Staples like batons de manioc [Recipe] and fu fu also abound.
What might be more surprising are the number of boulangeries, or bakeries selling baguettes and other French goodies (Want your stomach to growl? Look at the Gabonese swan pastries on “Hello, we are the Millers“).
What to do with baguettes in Gabon, you ask? There’s one thing you’ll find a lot of in Gabon – barbecue, called coupé coupé, made by bédoumouses – ladies working the rickety stands. Meat, grilled, spit-roasted, or even smoked [Recipe], is often stuffed into a baguette sandwich – plain or with peppers, onions, and spicy sauces.
Tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, pineapple, and starfruit [Recipe] are typical after-dinner nibbles. When in peak season, the sweet juices intoxicate the senses – each bite a fresh burst of clarity at the end of a long, hot day.