Monday Meal Review: Guinea and Guinea-Bissau


THE SCENE: I cut into the yucca root, first trimming the ends, then cracking it down the middle. Instead of revealing creamy white flesh, the yucca was speckled and streaked with brown. Rotten.  I grabbed the peeler and stripped off the thick skin, exposing even more bruised flesh. Why I peeled that rotten yucca, I cannot tell you, but when I was done, I dutifully cut it into thick sticks and placed them in a pretty pile. I then pushed the pile straight into the trash. Darn yucca. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Jollof (West African Rice with Veggies)


Serves 6-8 Listen, friends. I thought Jollof sounded weird. Scary. Difficult. It's not. This is rice with veggies. And spices. Sometimes meat, but not here. Not today. All over West Africa people enjoy Jollof. They make it with whatever they have on hand and more often that not it does not include meat. This recipe is flexible. It's usually spicy. And it always has some version of tomato sauce/paste in it. The rest is a fun improvisational dance. So, go on - boogie, boogie through that bottom … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yucca Fries


Serves 2-4 I never thought the day would come. I never thought I would conquer the mighty yucca. This tuber has made sweat, cry, and is quite possibly be the reason why I blacked out and went crashing to the floor one night after eating way too many Bâton de Manioc - out cold for a good thirty seconds. To be fair, the next day the doctor blamed dehydration. Regardless, given my terrible past with this tuber, I have a deep need to remedy my track record, this time with yucca fries. Who can mess … [Read more...]

Recipe: Portuguese Cinnamon Cookies (Raivas)


Makes 16 When I ask for a cookie, I expect to get a sugary, crispy, heart-racing cookie. Something that makes me thirst for milk. But that's not always what happens. Take raivas, for example. These cinnamon loaded Portuguese cookies are subdued. Doughy. Bready. Dry. But don't be fooled. The texture isn't a mistake. They are made specifically for dunking. Dipping. Sogging-up coffee, hot cocoa or tea. So why are we making Portuguese cookies this week, when we're cooking West Africa? Simple. … [Read more...]

What to do with the rest of the goat? Find your beat in West Africa (w/ poll)


Want to get up and dance? Shake a little soul onto the dance floor? Come, let's find the beat, West African-style... with the Djembe, the drum of choice. Use it or lose it: The top of the drum is spread tightly with goat skin. Loads of goat meat is consumed in West Africa, often wrapped in banana leaves [recipe] or stewed, so making a djembe with the skin is a fantastic way to use the whole animal, not just the meat. As my mom always said, "waste not, want not." Say what? The goats … [Read more...]

Recipe: Papaya Chutney


Fills about 2 mason jars - 1 for you & 1 for a friend Have you seen the papayas at the market lately? They're gorgeous. Sweet. Giant. Exotic. Plus they're fun to pronounce: pa-pa-ya. Gotta love anything that ends with an affirmative. Since papayas are beloved in Guinea and Guinea Bissau, I really wanted to make papaya jam for you today. Unfortunately, jam making all but requires a chemistry major. I'm too footloose for that, so I made chutney. The cool thing about chutney is that it's … [Read more...]

Menu: Guinea & Guinea Bissau


Have you ever felt pulled in two directions? Unsure of which way to go? Sometimes the best medicine is to find a happy medium, to go both places. Have double the fun. Case in point - this week we have one foot in Guinea and one foot in Guinea Bissau. For the most part this menu could be found in either country - except where noted. Double the fun, indeed. What sounds good to you? Yucca Fries [Recipe] Crispy, salty and healthier than French Fries. Popular all over … [Read more...]

About the food of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau


Are you ready? This week is a double hitter; we're discussing two West African neighbors, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Don't be fooled by their names - these countries are quite a bit different. Especially when it comes to the food. Sure they both share a love for typical West African foods, like Groundnut soup (absolutely amazing) [recipe], Batons de manioc (fascinating!) [recipe], Yucca Fries [Recipe], Jollof (a rice dish cooked with tomatoes and spices) [Recipe] and loads of tropical fruit … [Read more...]