All posts filed under: São Tomé and Príncipe

Monday Meal Review: São Tomé and Príncipe

Our children grow up frittata fast. They start out little bitty eggs, get whipped up into a froth (by our mad parenting skills, no doubt), and then poured into a pan… ready for the oven (a.k.a. the world). We turn around for ten minutes, and when our gaze next falls upon them, they are a … frittata… nothing like the little round egg we started out with. Our hearts break a little (partly because we’re proud of how far they’ve come, and partly because we’ll always miss the baby they once were). This week I turned around for ten minutes and my daughter was no longer a toddler. She was a full-fledged little girl. For the last year Ava’s been sleeping in a crib with several slats hacked out. We called it her toddler bed (considering the drop-side crib is no longer safe nor salable) , but we all know it’s just her old crib, hacked up. Well, this creative solution is no more: this week we finally moved Ava to a big girl bed, complete …

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Weeknight Cod Fish Feijoada

One of our readers, Annabelle, suggested we try today’s Cod Fish Feijoada. This filling, yet healthy Portuguese stew made it’s way to the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe during colonization. Things have evolved quite a bit since then. While most Feijoada’s involve black beans (even as far away as the one we made for Brazil), the islanders favor this white bean version and make it with readily available fish (and sometimes pork). The entire principal is a slow-cooked, tender meal full of flavor from raw beans. In the old country, a variety of herbs and spices might be added, but things are simplified on the islands. Some recipes don’t even include the carrots as I have (and they might as often be substituted with cabbage). The really distinct part of São Tomé and Príncipe’s recipe is the red palm oil – a signature ingredient in West African cooking. I found mine at Whole Foods, but you can get it a lot cheaper at local African markets (such as Ebute Tropical Market in Tulsa). Since the fish …

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Easy Banana Mousse with Chocolate Curls

When I first read that bananas are popular in West Africa’s island country São Tomé and Príncipe, I envisioned them eaten raw on the surf-swept beaches… or perhaps sold battered and fried with a cloud of powdered sugar. While all this certainly does happen, I never imagined I’d see them folded inside of a fluffy mousse, decked out with indulgent curls of dark chocolate. But I’m sure glad I did. In my reading I learned that this mousse could be made any number of ways – with or without eggs (I even read one account of some part of a leaf being used to thicken the cream, perhaps they meant agar agar?) – but however you make this, the simpler the better. The method I chose is a ready-in-15-minutes kind of mousse and there are so few ingredients it’s silly. The key to the mousse are 1. really, really ripe bananas and 2. really, really ripe bananas. In fact, they are perfect when they fall into a smooth puree with the slightest of pressure from the …

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Sweet Potato Frittata

Ava grabbed the small, purple step stool and placed it squarely in front of the kitchen counter. She’s gone through a growth spurt lately and yet my little girl still stands on her tippy toes to see into the mixing bowl. On days like today, when I see her eyes peep over the top of the bowl and grow wide with delight, I hope she never grows up. With quick jabs of her whisk, she pops the yolks and helps stir together the frittata mixture. In the background we hear the delicous sizzle of onion and sweet potatoes in oil.   Eggs are a West African staple, often making their way into toasted baguette sandwiches from our Nigerien Global Table and omelets, as with our Gabonese Global Table. Today, we’re taking inspiration from São Tomé and Príncipe and building a Sweet Potato Frittata complete with sweet bits of browned onion. This could just as well be a shredded sweet potato omelette, but I chose to call upon the islands’ Portuguese influence with today’s Frittata. And let it be heard: there’s …

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Menu: São Tomé and Príncipe (with Giveaway)

Ava’s never been a big fan of bananas, but when I told her we were eating mousse for dessert this week, she giggled. Loud. Like a startled bird. The holidays are in full swing; her three year-old brain clearly imagined something like this… Thankfully, moose is not an option in São Tomé and Príncipe, but mousse is. And so, without further ado, I’d like to share our menu. Each item has been selected with the holiday crazies in mind: they require few ingredients and come together in a flash. The inspiration remains firmly Santomean, as locals prefer to eat simply.  The sweet potato frittata is my new go-to, the Feijoada will warm your bones, and the mousse? Well… it’s mousse. That’s all anyone really needs, besides love. Unless you also need a moose. With antlers. All recipes and meal review will be posted throughout the week. Sweet Potato Frittata [Recipe] Need a great brunch idea for the holidays? This healthy & hearty frittata (yes, that’s possible) only has four ingredients and comes together in a snap. The best part? You …

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Fishing boats in Sao Tome & Principe. Photo by Bdickerson.

About the food of São Tomé and Príncipe

Are you slightly offbeat? Do you prefer to stand out from the crowd, preferably while eating chocolate?  São Tomé and Príncipe is just the place for you. These two tropical islands, just over 372 square miles combined, are home to an amazing amount of plants and animals that have developed into their own, exotic form. These spectacular critters are literally found nowhere else in the world. The cocoa covered islands have guaranteed that they evolve in isolation – think of it as a tropical petri dish with azure beaches. Yes, there are spiders, but they have their own… shall we say… crabby sort of look. Definitely a tad bit offbeat, eh? As for the food, it’s an amazing blend of traditional, sub-Saharan African foods with a strong blast of Portuguese influence. You’re as likely to find a simple sweet potato/pumpkin and egg dish [Recipe], goat or cassava… as you are a hearty plate of Feijoada (bean stew with pork or fish)  [Recipe] with rice (or better yet, riz creole – seasoned rice). That being said, there’s nothing like …

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