People are fascinated with African culture and cuisine—as well as the West Indies. African culture and dress has become popular around the world, and at Breakthrough African Market you will find a plethora of Dashikis, Laces (materials for making African clothing), hard to find spices, palm oils and coconut oils, dried poultry and smoked catfish and other smoked and dried fish, and smoke-dried poultry, and bones for soups and stews, frozen fish: poultry, and fresh-frozen goat meat, goat meat with skin, tripe, cow foot, meaty oxtails, dried fish flakes and dried West African various leaves, etc., etc. This issue is dedicated to the world of African and Caribbean cooking that has never been featured at length in any of the magazines and newspapers in our region. Check out the recipes and panoply of dishes that you can make to savor the flavor of this ancient and rich cuisine that has shaped civilizations, empires, culture, home cooking, and the world's palate for all things food.
28 tasteofschenectady.com • Vol. 3 • No. 1 PEANUT STEW The West African diet far outpaces the US and Europe in terms of its nutritional value. Click on the photo for the recipe, or here. cREOLE SAMPLER Fried Boneless fish petite fillets and Fried Green Plantain Chips. Seafood Croquettes, Samosas, Beef sausage in Creole sauce, BreakthroughAfricanMarket.com Here’s just a few African and Caribbean dishes you can make with the ingredients sold at African Breakthrough Market (continued from page 25) my Destination Shopping off by first savoring the flavors of Caribbean cuisine before making a culinary excursion to find the indigenous ingredients of the African continent… A few doors away to Breakthrough African Market, Irie Vybez, the best Jamaican restaurant in the Capital District, is located at 313 Central Avenue. The food is fabulous and fork tender—from Curry Goat, Curry Chicken, and Buttered Jumbo Shrimp to Jerk Chicken, Peppered Steak and Jerk Fried Rice, it’s worth the trip to Irie Vybez for the best Jamaican food in the region.
29 tasteofschenectady.com • Vol. 3 • No. 1 As soon as you walk out the front door of Irie Vybez, you can walk next door into Flavors Authentic Caribbean Ice Creams & Pastries, located at 313B Central Avenue in Albany, New York. Central African Republic (CAR). CAR is a land locked country in the heart of Africa ... Meat is scarce in CAR, so freshwater fish is one of their main proteins. Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Creole (Spanish- African-Italian), Cajun, Amerindian, European (Portuguese, British, Irish, Spanish/Latin American), East Indian/South Asian, Arab, Chinese and Javanese/Indonesian cuisine. These traditions were brought from many different countries when they came to the Caribbean…However, as far as it is known, it was European explorers and slaves ships who brought chili peppers and tomatoes from the New World, and both have become ubiquitous components of West African cuisines, along with peanuts, corn, cassava, and plantains. In turn, these slave ships carried African ingredients to the New World, including black-eyed peas and okra, which is a kitchen staple. West Africa, also called Western Africa and the West of Africa, is the westernmost sub-region of Africa. West Africa has been defined as including 18 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo. The population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016. FUFU, FISH & GREENS Traditionally, fufu is made of cooked cassava, yams or plantains which are pounded until they form a firm dough. stuffed mofongo (left) Traditional Caribbean green plantains mashed and made into cups, stuffed with garlic shredded beef, slices onions and herbs. In the mid-1500s, Portugal’s main goal on the East coast of Africa was to take control of the spice trade from the Arabs. The Portuguese were determined to control all trade within the Indian Ocean, and secured the sea routes linking Europe to Asia.