> Through Gayle Pescud‘s post on Global Voices on Ghanaian cuisine “You Are Invited”, I stumbled across Betumi, an extremely well-researched website on Ghanaian foods, created by obruni cum expert Fran Osseo-Asare.
Osseo-Asare writes on many (all?) different aspects of Ghanaian foods – the culture surrounding it, how to make fufu, grilled tilapia and Fante kenkey, as well as the ceremonial uses of Oto etc. The website is complemented by a couple of books (which I have not seen in Ghana) and importantly also features a blog! Latest updated on Thursday on the Ghanaian breakfast served to the Obamas in Ghana on their visit in July.
Osseo-Asare beautifully summarizes the Ghanaian kitchen like this:
I think of Ghanaian cuisine as a kind of culinary jazz. The pepper, tomatoes, and onions, and possibly the oil, form the rhythm section. The stew is one musical form, like blues, the soup and one-pot dishes are others. Like a successful improvisation, the additional ingredients vegetables, seeds and nuts, meat and fish harmonize and combine into vibrant, mellow creations. While Ghanaian cuisine is very forgiving and flexible, there are certain “chords” or combinations that go together, and others that do not. Part of mastering the cuisine requires learning these chords and developing the sense of what goes with what: gari or fried ripe plantain or tatale (ripe plantain pancakes) with red bean stew; kenkey with fried fish and a hot pepper sauce like shito; banku with okra stew; chicken with groundnut soup; soup with fufu; palaver sauce with boiled green plantain or yams or rice.
Read my other posts on Ghanaian foods aka culinary jazz here.
Pic: Jazz in Accra in July 2009.