Monday, September 24, 2012

West African cuisine comes to Penn State

Last Friday we finished the Western Africa unit of our class at Penn State, and in a grand finale moved to one of PSU's food labs in the food science building and spent a busy early morning preparing and sampling a variety of West African foods, showcasing different cooking techniques (steaming, baking, deepfrying, stewing, grinding, cutting, steeping) and ingredients (starches like cassava, plantain, and corn; fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, legumes, including coconut, lemon grass, hibiscus, pineapple, groundnuts (peanuts), black-eyed peas, pumpkin, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and a Senegalese tea leaf (Krystal, what's the name of that again?). It made everything we studied seem more real. As I pointed out to the students, there was nary a drop of dairy or wheat in any of the things we ate. As usual, I forgot to take any photos until we were eating, so you cannot see anyone cracking open coconuts or grinding in the asanka. Still, you can see a little bit of the results.

This week we're moving on to Eastern Africa, beginning with the Horn of Africa. Wish you could join us!



Ozoz said...

Fran, I am so inspired by what you do? I'd loooooove to come to Penn State!!! I bought an asanka (didnt know that's what it was called) when we went to Ghana on holiday over Christmas and am ashamed to say I've never used it. But that will change now that I understand the science of shredding foods. Thanks for inspiring me to continue showcasing Nigerian (African) cuisine!

Fran said...

Ozoz: Thank you for the encouragement. Words like yours are
what keeps me going.