Destination: Republic of the Gambia
Where: Africa’s west coast, bordered by the Atlantic and Senegal.
Snapshot: This long, narrow country bordering the Gambia river is the setting for Alex Haley’s Roots. The smallest mainland country of Africa, the Gambia gained independence from the UK in 1965. English is the official language, great for tourism, and Groundnuts (peanuts) are the main agricultural export.
Time for dinner! Seafood (both fresh and saltwater) including oysters, crab, barracuda, butterfish and snapper; beans, peanut butter paste, cassava, okra, lamb, goat, kani peppers (similar to Scotch Bonnets in intensity). No pork–the Gambia is 90% Muslim.
Specialties: One dish meals: Nyombeh Nyebbeh, Pepeh, Benachin
Drink up! Observing Muslim customs, so alcohol tends to be restricted to hotels and tourist spots. Wonjo juice (dried red flowers of the sorrel plant), Baobab juice (from the fruit of the Baobab tree) are local beverage delicacies.
Recipe: Domoda (Peanut Stew)
1 tbsp oil
1 whole chicken, cut into 9pcs
2 quarts water
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups peanut butter
2 lemons, sliced
1/2 lb pumpkin (or other winter squash)
4 tbsp tomato paste
Heat oil in heavy bottom pot, sear chicken. Add onions and cook until softened. Add water and bring to boil. Add tomatoes, peanut butter, lemons, pumpkin and tomato paste and simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.
Interesting food customs practiced in the Gambia may be found here. As with most cultures that have seem to have far less than others, food is always offered and shared.
More about “Africa’s Smiling Coast” here.