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Published: February 20th 2009
Dining in Ghana was tricky for the first few days, mainly because I was trying to follow the advice of my guidebooks and eat only from upscale restaurants while keeping within a budget. Finally, I grew braver and started exploring more authentic cuisine from local eateries and even some street vendors.
Looking like a true tourist... I've been photographing my food. Here are a few featured meals. Jollof Rice with Fish
. Resembles Spanish rice in appearance but the spices are different. It's basically spiced with a combination of red pepper and garlic that Ghanaians seem to use in virtually all food. The fish was head, skin and fins still on. Lots of bones and little meat. Not particularly enjoyable for me. Plus... I kept worrying it came from the very polluted waters along the Accra shoreline. Best not to overthink these things I guess 😉 Fried Plantains and Pasta with spam and cream sauce... billed as "Carbonara"
. This was my second night in Ghana and I had eaten so little that my starving stomach took over. I went to a restaurant recommended in my guidebook and got a few "safe" dishes to fill me up until I
could learn my way around Ghana and it's food a bit more.
Fried plantains are everywhere here and they're delicious. I love them so much. I want to marry them. Traditional Ghanian
. Most traditional meals are ordered by picking a starch (fufu, banku, rice), then picking a soup to cover the starch (palmnut, groundnut or light soup) and finally picking a protein to float in the soup as well (goat, fish and beef are popular).
FUFU. Fufu is a stable starch here in Ghana. It's made from ground Cassava (some type of grain here) and plantain. The consistency is like a gooy-gelatinous dumpling. It's good!
BANKU. Banku is a fermented corn and cassava dough. White and dense... consistency like baked potato. Slightly acidic taste.
PALMNUT SOUP. Oily and spicy.
GROUNDNUT SOUP. Groundnut is really peanuts. This soup is also oily and spicy. Slight peanut taste.
LIGHT SOUP. Least oily but most spicy of the soups. The spices in all soups are similar and they really taste about the same to me.
GOAT MEAT. A little like the pork you tast in Mom/Grandma's "city chicken". But the skin is still on... which is
really thick and dark with hair follicles clearly visible. I accidentally ate it once and considered spitting it out because it was so thick, chewy and disgusting. But I got it down. I felt sick afterward though. Also... goat run wild around all the country villages and streets. Their cries sound so human! It's creepy. I think people just knock one off when they're hungry. I haven't investigated further and I don't really want to know while I'm here since I have to eat this stuff. I'm convincing myself they goat meat I'm eating to fresh from an organic, free-range, goat pasture.
RED RED. My favorite dish so far. Black-eyed peas with spicy red gravy with onions and peppers. Served with fried plantains.
BREWS. Local Ghanian beer includes light lagers like Castle and Gulder. Castle Stout is popular as well. Lots of Guiness Stout here too.
MALTA. Guiness markets a non-alcoholic barley soft drink here called "Malta." It's dark and thick, very sweet and tastes like cereal. A bit strange at the first sip, but it gets better. Anything cold tastes good in this heat!
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