Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update on Africa Cookbook Project

Here are the 3 latest additions, all paperbacks,  to the Africa Cookbook Project, which I launched semi-officially in 2007. I'm still collecting cookbooks. Two of the cookbooks are Ghanaian and one is Kenyan.

The Ghana Cookery Book was originally compiled by the Gold Coast Branch of the British Red Cross Society and published in 1933 as The Cold Coast Cookery Book. In 2007, David Saffery (who seems to have made a career out of republishing old African cookbooks) reprinted it via the "Jeppestown Press" in London, dressed it up with a glossy cover of Ghanaian GTP textiles, and used illustrations from both the original book and the 1922 South and East African Year Book). As would be expected, it is basically a "Western" cookbook, whose (unedited) recipes were contributed by residents in Ghana "upon whom the sole condition was imposed that all the ingredients of every recipe should be easily obtainable in the Gold Coast." This includes things like canned asparagus, cheese, and strawberry jam ;-)  While most of the recipes are quite foreign to Ghana, several--especially those provided by Sister Antonia (Keta) and Sister Angele (Cape Coast)-- do include some indigenous dishes (e.g., palmnut soups, tigernut cream, garden egg and groundnut soups, okra stew). It's an important historical addition to my collection.

At the other end of the spectrum is another recently self-published Ghanaian cookbook, Akwaaba, A Taste of Ghana (Recipes from the African Gold Coast) by Sandra Amoako, a young  woman from Accra who attended Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and is part of a growing group of Ghanaians who are proud of their culinary heritage and want to introduce it to Western audiences. She has included a helpful index in the book. It covers the same general territory (about 50 recipes and variations) as other books, includes some time-saving adaptations, and is a welcome addition to the introductory cookbooks on Ghanaian cuisine.

From Kenway Publications in Nairobi/Kampala/Dar es Salaam (a subsidiary of East African Educational Publishers Ltd.) comes a classic cookbook based on her long-running  popular television cooking shows Mke Nyumbani: Alice Taabu's Cookery Book,  and first published in 2001. It is carefully illustrated with black and white drawings, and is clearly intended for a Kenyan audience.



10 comments:

simauma said...

Hello!! My name is SIMAUMA. I write blog about the food.Please look.And I am glad if I link to your blog. (URL)http://food-collection-simauma.blogspot.com/

Fran said...

Thank you Simauma. I'm happy you like this blog and wish you well. Unfortunately, I cannot read Japanese

尚舒 said...
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anukpui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anukpui said...

hello, my name is darlene and i am married to a ghanian man. i was wondering if you had any recipes for sweet white bread (maybe called sugar bread)? i love ghanian food and i love that you have a site with recipes AND pics. thank you.

Fran said...

Go to http://www.betumi.com/labels/Ghana%20bread.html
and http://www.betumi.com/labels/Ghana%20bread.html

and also follow the comments. I hope you find them helpful. Let me know if you try one of the recipes, and good luck.

JesseniaT_Or怡臻ndorf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ashton said...

Oh wow! Raised in Ghana as a missionary kid, I'm sitting here salivating and reminiscing while reading your stories and blog. Thank you for this!! My children who have never been to Ghana consider groundnut stew one of their favorite meals. I have even had ex-boyfriends over the years ask for the recipe - I guess they missed the soup after I was gone! It was so much fun to read your account of your first times in Ghana - really brought back the memories and longing for my original home...thanks again, "Kosua" Lisa

anukpui said...

okay, i tried the recipe, but i believe i kinda got lost somewhere. the directions and post comments are kinda hard to follow, and i am someone who needs exact specific instructions!! it tasted the same, but way too much nutmeg and the texture wasnt exactly right. but all in all. it was okay. thanks for the recipe. i appreciate it.

Afia Sarfowaa said...

I also write on foods, i wiill be grateful I link to your blog.