Hello everyone! Sorry for the long silence.
My internship ended on August 27 and since then I have been working on my research for school. I decided to explore those ideas I mentioned before: does what the fair trade model label as “fair” translate as such for actual producers in developing countries? So essentially, I will be spending the next seven weeks talking with people here, trying to gauge their perspectives on collective association, environmental protection, and non-discrimination (among others). These are all ideas/practices that the fair trade model assumes are “good”.
So last week we went up to Agona, a small town in Ghana’s Ashanti Region. The people were quite welcoming and the food wasn’t bad. This week we’ll be living in Cape Coast, just down the coast from Accra. The work goes on! Have I told you about Ghanaian food yet? I don’t think so, and I bet you’ll like the sound of some of these dishes.
Fufu is cassava and plantain, boiled and mashed, and then pounded with a large stick until it is a large, sticky ball of starch. It is truly a Ghanaian sight to see men or women pounding fufu behind chop bars (food stands), homes, or anywhere really at any time of day. Fufu is served in soup, either light soup or groundnut soup.
Light Soup and Groundnut Soup
Light soup is a spicy, tomato-based soup containing either goat meat, fish, or “bush meat”. [Bush meat: a generic term which usually refers to grasscutter (somewhat of a large groundhog), but it could mean anything really]. In Ghana, they call peanuts “groundnuts”, so when groundnut paste is added to the light soup, it makes it…you guessed it.
Ghanaians like to use a lot of oil in almost everything. Especially red palm oil. In any market you will find women selling the striking red seeds or selling already pressed oil. Red red is a great example of a dish that glorifies red palm oil.
Red red consists of two parts: fried plantains and bean stew. The plantains are easy: fry them in red palm oil till they’re good and saturated. The bean stew is essentially black-eyed beans, red palm oil, tomato base, onion, and pepper. After both have been prepared, you mix it all together and voila! You have red red (and a heart attack later in life).
Bofrot is a tasty little treat I never should have discovered. It’s essentially Ghana’s readily available version of the donut: a round, fried ball of sweet dough. In any tro tro station [tro tro: a gutted 12 person van which serves as the primary form of public transportation. Usually very run down and often packed to the gills with riders, but fun nonetheless] one can find many women selling bofrot from wooden cases they carry on their heads.
Those are my favorites though there are many, many more! Perhaps I’ll write down some more soon, or you can get a cookbook from the Global Mamas website sometime soon, which has tons of Ghanaian recipes in it. It was one of Bethany’s projects and she did a fantastic job.
I’m off to bed – sweet dreams!