5 months ago

Taste of Schenectady and Beyond FALL 2017

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.


32 • Vol. 3 • No. 1 (continued from page 29) Make this recipe for West African, Beef, Plantain and Okra Stew with the fabulous ingredients found at... Situated in the northeastern portion of the continent, and Egypt and the Sudans are often included in Northern Africa— they are also members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) free trade area. Due to colonial territories of the British East Africa Protectorate and German East Africa, the term East Africa is often (especially in the English language) used to specifically refer to the area now comprising the three countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. However, this has never been the convention in many other languages, where the term generally had a wider, strictly geographic context and therefore typically included Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Ghana, officially the Breakthough African Mkt.” WEST AFRICAN DRIED CHICKEN —A meat processing method practised in West Africa is the hot smoking of large pieces of fresh meat or of entire eviscerated carcasses of small mammals or poultry in dense smoke and at high temperatures. Republic of Ghana, is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the sub-region of West Africa. Spanning a landmass of 148,218 miles, Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Despite the wide variety of cultures in West Africa, from Nigeria through to Senegal, there are general similarities in dress, cuisine, music and culture that are not shared extensively with groups outside the geographic region. This long history of cultural exchange predates the Colonization era of the region and can be approximately placed at the time of the Ghana Empire (proper: Wagadou Empire), Mali Empire or perhaps before these empires.

33 • Vol. 3 • No. 1 Central African Republic (CAR) is a land locked country in the heart of Africa ... Meat is scarce in CAR, so fresh and smoked fish is one of the main proteins.” Scores of foreign visitors to West African nations (e.g., traders, historians, emigrants, colonists, missionaries) have benefited from its citizens’ generosity, and even left with a piece of its cultural heritage, via its foods. West African cuisines have had a significant influence on those of Western civilization for centuries; several dishes of West African origin are currently enjoyed in the Caribbean (e.g., the West Indies and Haiti); Australia; the USA (particularly Louisiana, Virginia, North and South Carolina); Italy; and other countries. Although some of these recipes have been altered to suit the sensibilities of their adopters, they retain a distinct West African essence. Around the time of the Colonial period, particularly during the Scramble for Africa, the European settlers defined CHURRASCO WITH RICE Churrasco Moçambicano is a grilled meat dish from Mozambique. ABOUT RICE The rice of Africa (Oryza glaberrima ) has a long and noteworthy history. It was selected and established in West Africa centuries before any organized expeditions could have introduced its Asian cousin (Oryza sativa). colonial borders without regard to pre-existing borders, territories or cultural differences. This bisected tribes and created colonies with varying culinary styles. As a result, it is difficult to sharply define, for example, Senegalese cuisine. Although the European colonists brought many new ingredients to the African continent, they had relatively little impact on the way people cook in West Africa. Its strong culinary tradition lives on despite the influence of colonization and food migration that occurred long ago. Though there are obvious differences among the local cuisines in West Africa, there are also many commonalities, mainly in the ingredients used. Many dishes are enriched with a base of tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. Considered an essential and even “sacred” cooking technique in the region, the combination of these three ingredients sautéed in oil is analogous to similar concepts such as the holy trinity of Cajun and Creole cooking in the United States, sofrito used in the Spanish-speaking world, soffritto in Italy, and the mirepoix of France.