Video Saturday: Burundi

Happy Saturday! In this first video, you'll see the longest lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika, as well as mukeke, one of the fish that comes from these beautiful waters. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdQNsuAwk3E&feature=related In this second video you'll view scenery from the small lakes region of Burundi, as well as spectacular fresh produce. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0t0B_eus6A Finally, watch drumming performances at the Avocado Oil Festival, followed by a display … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Recipe: Pili-Pili hot sauce

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Pili-Pili (also called Piripiri) is the kind of hot sauce that puts hair on a man's chest. And, possibly, even a woman's. This basic African condiment was introduced by the Portuguese in the 1500's. To give you an idea of how intense pili-pili is, imagine this true story: Positioned just outside the second room, where we would shake the president's hand, sat a vast array of spicy delicacies, accompanied by bowls of pili-pili sauce for dipping. For the uninitiated, Pili-pili (pronounced … [Read more...]

About the Food of Burundi

Fishermen on Lake Tanganyika. Photo courtesy of Francesca Ansaloni

Nestled up to the largest lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika, is the tiny country of Burundi. There, amidst the rolling hills and the lush tropics, live a people surviving on a simple bounty of beans, bananas, plantains, maize (corn), cassava, sweet potato, and peas. Peek under the lid of any Burundian pot, and you'll likely find red kidney beans. Cooked simply with a little red palm oil, onion, and spicy chili powder, the nutrient rich bean becomes a delight.  To avoid monotony, many … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spiced Lamb Kabobs (Brochettes)

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Serves 4 Borasheht (or brochettes/kabobs) can be any sort of skewered meat. In our recipe, tender pieces of lamb are marinated in a spicy sauce. As you bite into the lamb,  your mouth fills with a hint of cinnamon and garlic, mild tang from the vinegar, and a steady, creeping burn from the cayenne (about mild, on my scale). NOTE: If you would like some extra heat on the side, try our Kan Kan Kan spice blend, popular in Burkina Faso. Ingredients: 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Burkina Faso (with poll)

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Happy Friday! I'm craving a giant slice of chocolate cake. But enough about me, let's talk about Burkina Faso! Most meals in the villages are shared out of a single pot (true family style) and the right hand is used to scoop up the food. The cities eat European style - fork, knife, spoon, plate. Frog and toad meat is eaten "dried or fried" in Burkina Faso, with hundreds of frogs laid out to dry in the hot African sun (Photographs are available to view on National Geographic,  Fried … [Read more...]

Recipe: Babenda

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If you enjoy the flavor of funky blue cheese, dried or smoked fish, and bitter greens, then Babenda is for you! I know. I'm asking a lot. Although we might be a select group of people with such accommodating palates, this one pot meal is a common staple in Burkina Faso. Babenda is like a jazz orchestra in the mouth, making wild taste sensations and pungent high notes meander whimsically through mouth and home. Ingredient Overview: The Greens: Any bitter greens can be used for … [Read more...]

About the Food of Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso is a dizzying landscape of dusty red plains and grassy savannas, broken up by stunning rock formations that tower above the ground. The culinary landscape of Burkina Faso is similar - plain, sparse even - with the occasional burst of unexpected flavor. Let me explain. Most meals are centered around pieces of Tô, a firm ball of white starch made with millet, sorghum, or corn. These bland balls are wonderfully adaptive because they take on the flavor the broths, soups, and … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Bulgaria

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"Where's the beef?" said Keith's dad, wide eyed. In all his sixty-plus years on earth, this was probably his first vegetarian meal. Ever. What can I say. He's Oklahoma, through and through. Six months ago, I would have been nervous about putting this feast in front of him. I'd probably have served a platter beef on the side. Heck, I who am I kidding. The entire meal would have been a meat-lover's delight. I'm a people-pleaser, to the max. But eating food around the world has changed … [Read more...]