Website on Ghanaian Food

Through Gayle Pescud's post on Global Voices on Ghanaian cuisine "You Are Invited", I stumbled across Betumi, an extremely well-researched website on Ghanaian foods, created by obruni cum expert Fran Osseo-Asare.

Osseo-Asare writes on many (all?) different aspects of Ghanaian foods - the culture surrounding it, how to make fufu, grilled tilapia and Fante kenkey, as well as the ceremonial uses of Oto etc. The website is complemented by a couple of books (which I have not seen in Ghana) and importantly also features a blog! Latest updated on Thursday on the Ghanaian breakfast served to the Obamas in Ghana on their visit in July.

Osseo-Asare beautifully summarizes the Ghanaian kitchen like this:
I think of Ghanaian cuisine as a kind of culinary jazz. The pepper, tomatoes, and onions, and possibly the oil, form the rhythm section. The stew is one musical form, like blues, the soup and one-pot dishes are others. Like a successful improvisation, the additional ingredients vegetables, seeds and nuts, meat and fish harmonize and combine into vibrant, mellow creations. While Ghanaian cuisine is very forgiving and flexible, there are certain "chords" or combinations that go together, and others that do not. Part of mastering the cuisine requires learning these chords and developing the sense of what goes with what: gari or fried ripe plantain or tatale (ripe plantain pancakes) with red bean stew; kenkey with fried fish and a hot pepper sauce like shito; banku with okra stew; chicken with groundnut soup; soup with fufu; palaver sauce with boiled green plantain or yams or rice.
Read my other posts on Ghanaian foods aka culinary jazz here.

Pic: Jazz in Accra in July 2009.

6 comments:

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

You touched my taste gland with those dishes.

Fran said...

Thank you for your kind words, Kajsa. Where are you in Tema? My son, DK, an architect, will be spending a year there on a Fulbright in the house he built us (cement-reinforced adobe). Also, have you seen my husband's blog AqueouSolutions? You might find it interesting.

Nina said...

Glad to hear that you have finally discovered the Betumi website and blog... Maybe I should have introduced you earlier?

Esi W. Cleland said...

Yes, Fran's blog is awesome. Anyone interested in Ghanaian and indeed african recipes should also check www.nududu.com.

And Kajsa, that's a nifty new widget you got there from linkwithin. I just got one for my own blog. Love it. love it. love it!

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Nana - glad I could be of help. Now go eat dinner!

Fran - I'll send you an email.

Esi - how's nududu doing, looked empty last time I was there. The widget does rock, first saw it on was it Faf's blog? Now I'm heading over to yours!

Edward: said...

Whoever said music is food for the soul has never eaten. Food is food for the soul..!

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