All posts filed under: Rwanda


Monday Meal Review: Rwanda

We officially have less than a year remaining in this Adventure. Unbelievable. In the very beginning (February 2010), our Global Table Adventure was about eating a better, more varied diet, especially for our then seven-month old baby, Ava. Cooking the world was also about making life in Tulsa a little more tolerable, while daydreaming about other places. I was escaping. Hard. Now? Well the name is the same, but the Adventure has evolved in ways I could have never anticipated. Izína sí lyó muntu. This Rwandan saying means that “the name doesn’t make the man.” Or in this case, the “Adventure.” Case in point, Global Table Adventure is a nice name, but it doesn’t reveal much about the long years we’ve lived with this challenge. It doesn’t say anything, for example, about how appreciating the rest of the world has really made us appreciate our home more. Sometimes you have to look far to find the treasure on your own doorstep. Nor does the name hint at the community we enjoy around us. We learned an especially …

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Rwandan Fruit Salad

We may be in the heart of autumn here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but no celebration of Rwanda is complete without a sliver of tropical fruit. This is the most popular way to end in a meal in Rwanda. Varieties include mango, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, banana, and even buttery avocado: Although Mukamana says she and her husband cannot afford to purchase all the fruits needed to make a salad every day, they buy enough produce to make sure everyone at home eats a banana, an orange, or a piece of pineapple after every meal. (USAID) From what I hear, one piece is enough in Rwanda. The fruit, fresh and thick from growing in the humming, humid tropical air, is lusciously sweet. Each bite hangs heavy in the mouth. Ingredients: banana pineapple avocado mango papaya passion fruit Method: NOTE: There’s no right or wrong way to make a fruit salad, but if the weather is chilly where you live, you might be best off sticking to bananas. Unlike more temperamental mangoes and papayas, bananas seem to …

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White Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are up there with a good hair cut, purring cats, and sunlight through fiery autumn leaves. The simple sweetness is all I need on a chilly evening. But it’s not all about the coppery hued variety, which litter my counter tops like fallen leaves. There’s such a thing as white sweet potatoes, too. Rwandans love sweet potatoes, especially white sweet potatoes which they boil, mash, and even fry. I first saw this in action on the a Peace Corps blog En Route Rwanda: With help from some of our house mates and dinner guests, we peeled and sliced several kilos of knobby white sweet potatoes, which Zilpa then spent hours double-frying on the second charcoal stove. According to the Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute: Sweet potato is a major staple food in Rwanda and one of the second largest produces in terms of tons after bananas. The ability of sweet potato to adapt to a wide range of growing conditions, in both fertile and marginal areas, as well as its rapid growth rate as a ground cover to …

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Menu: Rwanda (& Giveaway)

Today is one of those days. I feel like singing. You see,sometimes a country is so far from anything I know, I have no idea what to expect. Then a meal like this happens. Fun. Interesting. Satisfying. With each bite we’re a little closer to our friends across the deep, salty blue. This is Rwanda: simple food, full of cozy comfort. Each item on the menu is a regular staple, from the bananas to the plantains, and from the sweet potatoes and to the crushed peanuts.  Let the warmth carry you through the blustery chill, all the way to the other side of winter. P.S. Consider enjoying  this meal lakeside, as though you were in Rwanda. P.P.S. If you can include a gorilla in your company, even better. Rwanda is known for her beautiful Mountain Gorillas. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Vegetarian Agatogo with Collard Greens  [Recipe] A nutritious and satisfying stew of plantains and collard greens simmered with tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Finished with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts. …

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Children on a farm in Rwanda. Photo by Sarel Kromer.

About the food of Rwanda

I’m writing about Rwanda while sitting in the airport, on my way to New York City. Big things are in the works, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them. This is a fertile time for creativity, which makes Rwanda the perfect week to accompany me on this journey.  The earth in this small, but sprawling country is so fertile, I’ve read you can stick a carrot top in the ground and carrots will grow. That’s the kind of good, growing energy I need right now. This is the center of Africa, along the rippling waters of Lake Kivu. Everyone, everywhere in Rwanda, seems to love the sweet potato  [Recipe]and that’s a lot of people. Rwanda is one of the most crowded places in Africa. Avocados hang heavy on the trees, and cassava grows strong in the soil.  Beans are the go-to, as is umutsima (cassava and corn porridge), fish from the lakes (like tilapia), and plantains. Very little meat is eaten, although what is enjoyed includes chicken, beef, and goat, and may be stewed …

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