Without a doubt, the best part of any journey is the unexpected detour -- the one that takes you off course and makes you want to ditch that pesky GPS to unleash your inner explorer. Just ask my kids who give me endless grief for all the "adventures" I've inadvertently taken them on. Woonsocket, Rhode Island, just 53 miles south of our intended destination comes to mind.
So it is with great pleasure that I embark on a completely unexpected, way exciting partnership with Taste of Africa, which promotes African food products and cuisine to consumers and to the food industry worldwide. Funded through USAID's West Africa Trade Hub and Southern Africa Global Competiveness Hub, the Association Africa Argo-Export, and other partners, Taste of Africa seeks to make authentic African food easily accessible and easy to prepare.
Through its pan-African partnerships and offices in Washington, DC, New York, Ghana, Senegal and Botswana, Taste of Africa is able to facilitate linkages and trade between African specialty food exporters and international improters/investors. For more information, check out Taste of Africa or contact the West Africa Trade Hub directly.
Working in collaboration with the West Africa Trade Hub, I will be cooking dishes from 5 West African countries during the month of June. Some will be authentic to the countries, while others will use specialty export items from identified vendors. Each recipe will be included in the Taste of Africa African Pavilion Directory Cookbook to be show-cased at the Fancy Food Show (African Pavilion) in Washington D.C. from July 10-12, 2011.
A huge shout-out and thank you to Joe Lamport, West Africa Trade Hub, Communication and Outreach Coordinator (Ghana); Kafui Djonou, West Africa Trade Hub, Business Development Coordinator (Senegal); Elitza Barzakova, West Africa Trade Hub, Market Linkage Manager (USA) and Jean Pierre Rousseau, West Africa Trade Hub, Project Manager (USA).
Cuisine in Nigeria is primarily traditional, but has important influences from Portugal, India, Persia, Great Britain and North Africa. Food is generally spicy and deeply seasoned using chili peppers, ginger, herbs, palm, coconut and peanut oil. Jolof rice, tomatoes, onions, cassava, spinach, peppers, and coconuts are all staples in the Nigerian kitchen. Goat, chicken, fish, stews and skewered meats are just some of the foods enjoyed in the country.
Lemon and Ginger Infused Honey
(Arise and Shine International Limited-West African Exporter of pure honey, honey with ginger and garlic mix)
3 lemons, seeded and thinly sliced
2 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups honey
sprig of mint (optional)
Wash a clean one quart container.
Place sliced lemons, alternating with ginger slices in bottom of jar.
Top off with sprig of mint (optional)
Fill with honey.
Let sit overnight before serving.
Refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Serving Suggestions: Use a tablespoon to add depth and richness to your favorite vinaigrette, drizzle over yogurt or granola, stir 2-3 Tbsp. into hot water or tea for a soothing herbal remedy for colds and sore throats.
(C) 2010-2011, What's Cooking in your World/Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved