News and Notes

Trip to Ghana, March 1-11, 2018 to share recent work on Ghana-friendly gluten-free  flour and gluten-free, vegan recipes for shortbread; also adinkra cookie stamps designed from actual adinkra stamps (gye nyame and sankofa). Plan to meet with Emi-Beth Quantson (of Kawa Moka), Barbara Baeta (at Flair, of course), and also Paulina Addy (to learn more about Ghana’s research into High Quality Cassava Flour, or HQC).

In March, 2017 Fran travelled to Ghana to participate in the African Diaspora Homecoming Conference (see betumiblog for March 6, 2017) and in late June was in New York City to meet up with Nigerian Oz Sokoh of Kitchen Butterfly to discuss the possibility of beginning an African Culinary/Food Writers group, among other things.

November 2015  was busy with full-house tasting and demo events at New Leaf Initiative and Webster’s bookstore in State College. An upcoming brief tv appearance in Altoona PA in early January, followed by a trip for the January 28, 2016 launching in Accra, Ghana with amazing coauthor/collaborator Barbara Baeta of Flair Catering. For more on the story behind the cookbook, check out the article Fran wrote for the TED Fellows channel.

The task of completing The Ghana Cookbook took precedence over the planned update and relaunch of Still working to bring it into 2018. When it began in 1997, there were very few African culinary sites devoted to celebrating, educating  and promoting conversations about African cuisines and foodways. By 2018 the landscape is entirely different, and the site wishes to  support and strengthen the network and community comprised of African food writers, bloggers, vloggers,  podcasters, food historians, professionals, suppliers, entrepreneurs, farmers, etc. We’re excited, and hope you’ll be a part of this new venture.

Older News

  • Tim Carman featured West African cuisine and interviewed me [Fran Osseo-Asare] extensively in an article in The Washington Post on February 29, 2012 (“It’s all in the mix.”)
  • IFT12, the Institute of Food Technologists annual conference in Nevada in June featured Fran speaking on  “Beyond Peppers, Peanuts, and Palmfruit: The Multilayered Tastes and Textures of African Cuisines.” See betumiblog post for July 4, 2012.
  • Fran spent time in Abuja, Nigeria at the African University of Science and Technology teaching technical writing and communications in 2012.

Past activities also included numerous talks (e.g., The Textile Museum in Washington DC on Central African cuisine in December, 2011; “African tea” for Women’s Studies class at Penn State, Dec., 2011; featured speaker at Ag2Africa, at PSU, August 2011); and writing (e.g., book review on James McCann’s Stirring the Pot: A History of African cuisine in Gastronomica, Aug. 1, 2011; article “African Cuisine 2.0? in b.SpiritMagazine Nov.-Dec. 2010.)

Even Older News:

“A Taste of Ghana” in the Fall 2010 Issue of ICIK (Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge) E-News» Download pdf file

March 3, 2010: West African Cooking Class, State College, PA; March 18, 2010: South African Cooking Class, State College, PA; March 19, 2010; Fran Osseo-Asare selected by as Top Food Blogger and interview on African Food Culture posted on their site

April 6, 2010: article on groundnut soup written and posted for; April 28, 2010; Interinstitutional Consortium on Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK) seminar at Penn State “Asankas to Maggi Cubes: Ghanaian Cookbooks as Sources for African Food History”

June 3, 2010 – July 3, 2010: Finalizing Ghanaian cookbook, doing research and photography in Tema, Ghana

July 4, 2010 – August 3, 2010: Teaching technical writing course at the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Nigeria and researching Nigerian cuisine

Sub-Saharan African Cuisine and Western Perceptions Presentation at the joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), June 8, 2006, Boston » Slides

“Milestone in African food studies

Fran Osseo-Asare’s book on the food and culture of Sub-Saharan Africa was released in July 2005 by Greenwood Press. A book for us all.

» Press Release » Order Now » Review1 » Review2

We Eat First With Our Eyes”: On Ghanaian Cuisine

An overview and investigation that ranges from fufu to palm oil to West African conceptions of hospitality. Originally published in the Winter 2002 issue of Gastronomica. » Abstract » Full Text

Beyond Gumbo: A History of Ghanaian Cookbooks

A look at Ghana’s culinary history as portrayed in cookbookspublished in the latter half of the 20th century. This working draft analyzes variations among cookbook authors, publishers, and audiences.

» Abstract » Full Text