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ACCRA FOODIE REPORT – FROM OVALTINE TO “RED RED”

This is my last post about my adventures in Ghana, and as a foodie, I had to tell you about what my palate experienced while I was there.

Ovaltine and Ghana Bread – Most people know I have a major bread addiction. The bread in Ghana was insanely sweet and chewy, with a faintly spiced (cloves?) flavor. In Liberia we called it Fanti bread because it was made people from the Fanti tribe. During this trip I enjoyed it sliced thick and toasted with butter for breakfast…and snack time. If you haven’t already, grab some from your local tropical food store. It’s definitely not a nutritional giant, but a little white bread is good for the soul. Ovaltine, a hot, chocolatey “malted dairy drink” was breakfast staple when we were in Liberia, so it was another sweet reunion to sip some before leaving the house every morning while in Accra.

Did you know that Ghana produces some of the best pineapples in the world? My godsister bought me a couple of bottles of this amazing fresh squeezed pineapple juice. I learned that a foreign company was bottling Ghana-grown fruit juice for sale in Europe. After several years of successfully marketing it overseas, it occured to them that people in Ghana would actually enjoy the juice as well and they decided to start retailing it locally. Hmmmm.

Fish and Chips – On my last day, Oku my godsister’s husband took me to his favorite neighborhood street vendor for some fish and chips, Accra-style. It contained, you guessed it, fried fish and crispy fried yam and sweet potatoes with side of pepper sauce. Yam is a big deal in Ghana, and when it’s served up like this, I see why. You must have this when you go.

Red Red – Oku, OB and I went to a “traditional” Ghana restaurant for lunch on Tuesday after our meetings at the Accra mall and the textile factory. It was an open air structure, like a large, lush green gazebo or what we call “palava hut” in Liberia. I ordered a dish called Red Red, which features a blackeyed peas mashup that gets its name from palm oil and tomato puree. Add dried shrimp powder or dried fish to the recipe in the link to amp up the flavor. My dish was rounded out with crisply fried fish and fried ripe plaintain. Yum!! I’m ready to test drive it in my own kitchen. What’s your favorite West African dish?

 

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