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Friday, May 29, 2015

Village Food


I've been maintaining this blog for over a year, but I haven't posted much about Senegalese food yet, and that is probably the most frequent question I get.  So, hopefully this will rectify the situation.


I always buy my own breakfast from a vendor on the main road in my town.  This 1) gives me a chance to pump some money into the local economy and 2) lets me set my own schedule for the day - I can eat at 7 if I'm feeling ambitious and want to crank out some projects before the sun gets too hot, or I can eat at 10 if I'm feeling lazier.  I usually buy breakfast from my aunt, also named Kadiatou Sabaly.  She has bean sandwiches and café touba, which is like nescafe with cloves and other spices added.
Kadiatou with her bag of bread and bowl of beans.  I offered to retake it since her eyes were closed, but she insisted it was a good picture and she looked great.

A neighbor kid, Moussa, eating his breakfast sandwich.
If I don't feel like beans, I get mooni, which is little balls of millet in a thin sauce.  It's really good if you add sugar and milk to it.

Asi selling mooni, with her happy customers.

My mooni bowl, with sugar and kosam (fermented milk)

I almost always eat lunch with my host family.  I share a bowl with my brother, Tidiane, and his son Mawdo.  Lunch is always corn, rice, or millet, with different sauces.  It's repetitive, but there's enough variety that I don't get too sick of anything.

Ceeb (fried rice) with bitter tomato and cabbage.

Rice with maafe domida (a tomato-based sauce).

Kodde (coarsely pounded steamed corn) with maafe girte (peanut sauce) and untu (fish balls - fish balls are also called "bara bara," which is endlessly amusing to my family since it means my English name, Barbara, is "fish ball.")

Sometimes you get lucky and get a fish head instead of a fish ball.

Rice and follere (a sauce made from hibiscus leaves)

Futi (coarsely pounded corn, steamed with okra and palm oil)
Ñankatan, the dish I named my dog after.  It's coarsely pounded peanuts mixed in with rice and onions, with some spice called oji added.  I have no idea what oji is but it's pretty good.  The vegetable is a bitter tomato.  They're not good but they're high in iron so I try to convince my family to buy/eat them.

Kodde follere
Rice and a palm-oil based sauce
Rice, some kind of meat, follere, and a piece of carrot

Dinner has less variety than lunch - it's always either lecciri or gosse, both of which are shown below.  I loved lecciri at first, then grew sick of it, then loved it again.  Currently I love it.  Every day around 4pm I get happy because I remember I get to eat lecciri in just a few hours.
Lecciri (finely pounded steamed corn or millet) with a watery sauce, called jammbo.  Usually the sauce has finely pounded peanuts in it to thicken it up and sometimes there are beans or leaves in it too.  The sauce is poured over the lecciri, which sucks it up like a sponge.  It's really good.
Gosse (rice cooked in too much water for too long, so it's like a thin porridge.  Salt or sugar is added to taste.  I sometimes add cinnamon, too, but my family thinks that does not taste good.
A handful of times, my brother Oussamon has come back from the woods with a bucket full of honeycomb.  It's wonderful.

Before the mangoes were ripe, people would make this concoction - pounded mangoes, salt, hot peppers, and MSG seasoning powder.  It sounds weird, but it was really good.  It reminded me of gardettoes.

I'm still averaging three mangoes a day.  They won't run out for about a month yet.

That's it!  Any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Love, Kadiatou.

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