What Do They Eat in Ghana?
Yes, I know people normally don’t welcome you to their articles, but I just wanted to say it because it proves that I learned some Fante during my trip. I travelled to Ghana with a team of students in the international organization known as the Global Brigades to construct a sustainable rainwater harvesting system that will give a family access to clean drinking water. Still, the Spoon writer (and food lover) in me couldn’t wait to get my hands on the food they served while I was there as well. Here’s the low-down on all that I ate devoured while in-country.
Tip: Next time you drink from a water fountain or swallow some water in the shower, remember how privileged you are to have complete and total access to all of the potable drinking water you need.
Our daily breakfast options were on a rotation that included warm oatmeal, eggs and a pancake/crepe dish that tasted reminiscent of funnel cake. Toast with Ghanaian peanut butter, which is less sweet and way more sticky than American peanut butter, was always available to us, as was a plethora of fresh fruit. As you can imagine, I was in pineapple and mango heaven.
In the midst of a hard day’s work, our team would lunch on meat pies, which are flaky pastries filled with meat, gravy and vegetables, or on rice (or occasionally noodles), some type of fried fish or chicken – they’re big on fried foods in Ghana – and a sauce to top it all off. Most of the sauces I tried packed a heated punch, but they were so delicious that I didn’t even mind the persistent burning sensation that lingered on my lips.
Dinner was the crowning glory of my day because of one little dish known simply as “red sauce.” I smothered this concoction, made with tomatoes, onion, and many spices, over a heaping portion of rice each night. Our dinner menus yielded more fried fish and/or chicken, a variety of meat or vegetable-based sauces, fried plantains, beans and a starchy boiled yam I usually ate with more red sauce. Some nights we would get French fries or buttered noodles to satisfy our western cravings, although I found myself actually preferring the native food.
Overall, my trip was incredibly satisfying, both for the palette and for the soul. Here’s one last dining picture, and yes, you can be jealous of the view.
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