20-24 FEBRUARY 2023
DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE

20-24 FEBRUARY 2023
DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE

no content here. Featured Image only

How west African cuisines originated and developed over centuries

LATEST NEWS & INSIGHTS

02 Sep 2022

How west African cuisines originated and developed over centuries

How west African cuisines originated and developed over centuries

As the popularity of African dishes rises around the world, most of the conversation has focused on their appearance, spiciness, and recipes, more intensely on ownership and appropriation, but barely on how they came about.

 

African dishes have gone global first via the transatlantic slave trade and most recently through migration, social media, and viral videos. The best-known example is the Jollof wars.

 

As the popularity of African dishes rises around the world, most of the conversation has focused on their appearance, spiciness, and recipes, more intensely on ownership and appropriation, but barely on how they came about.

 

African dishes have gone global first via the transatlantic slave trade and most recently through migration, social media, and viral videos. The best-known example is the Jollof wars.

 

The foods we all enjoy today are the product of innovations and food processing technology that emerged over centuries. Each meal is a reflection of the history, culture, beliefs, and the natural environment of their society of origin.

 

Starch

In the Sahel-Sudan (south of the Sahara), pearl millet—which originates from an area that includes Mali and Mauritania—and guinea corn (sorghum) are the traditional staple ingredients for food, drinks (kunu), and beer (burukutu and pito). This beer tradition has however been wiped out in parts where the population adopted Islam that forbids the consumption of alcohol.

 

In Guinea (coastal and rain forest region in the south), Guinea yams—which originate from the area between Ghana and Nigeria—African rice, and Guinea corn were the staple sources of carbohydrates until the Portuguese later introduced cassava.

 

The cultivation of yam is traditionally and predominantly in the eastern area of the region stretching from Côte d’Ivoire to Nigeria—with Nigeria presently accounting for about 54% of global production. African rice is predominantly cultivated in the western part of the region along the Inner Niger Delta (where its origin is in Mali) and the coastal zone spanning from Mauritania to Liberia. With the introduction of tomatoes to Senegal as early as the 1820s—the first record of tomatoes in Africa—jollof rice developed among the Wolof people of Senegambia.

 

Read More

View all LATEST NEWS & INSIGHTS
Loading