Eat First With Our Eyes”:
On Ghanaian Cuisine
cuisine of the West African nation of Ghana can be considered
a form of “culinary jazz” whose
global contributions are gradually being recognized. At the
same time, it remains
underrepresented in culinary literature. The article introduces
and provides a context for the cooking and culture of Ghana.
Major ingredients, cooking equipment, preparation techniques,
meal presentation and meal etiquette are described. Some
classic combinations of dishes are presented (e.g., soup
kenkey, fried fish, and the pepper sauce known as shito).
The African oil palm, Elaeis guineesis, is discussed extensively,
including its history, background and uses, as well as processing
techniques for extracting the oil and pulp, nutritional content
and misconceptions, and preparation of palm-nut soup.
topics include: general structure and composition of
meals, eating patterns, cultural values (such as hospitality,
humor in the face of adversity, and the appropriate use
of power), and the expression of these values through proverbs,
symbols, and the exchange and sharing of food. Included
discussions of the Ga thanksgiving festival of Homowo (“hoot
at hunger’) and the Ga and Akan ritual dish oto, made
from eggs, yam, and palm oil.
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