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!