Authentic African Cuisine from Ghana is an absolutely brilliant and a must have book. The book begins with a brief introduction into the history, traditions and culture of Ghana and her people. Ghanaians are fun-loving, cheerful people who are proud of their country and its numerous languages (over 20 major ones and many more dialects), traditions, and standing.
The book then goes into the various traditional soups such as the famous groundnut or peanut soup (this soup is certainly the most popular among non-Africans who have sampled our dishes) or palm soup. There are stews like kontomereh (spinach) and egusi, and rice dishes like jollof and kelewele (fried plantains) - delicious. There’s also a section for deserts like bofloat.
Towards the end of the book, there is a section which gives a list of many recommended festivals of Ghana and their respective dates of celebration. There is also the Adinkra symbols and the meanings of each symbol.
In writing this book, the authors have endeavoured (as much as possible) to stick closely to ingredients and herbs used by Ghanaians in cooking their mouth – watering dishes. But, being conscious that this book will be read by non- Ghanaians and that food preservation will take place throughout the four corners of the globe, the authors have also included, where possible, substitute ingredients which are more readily available in American or European markets.
It should be noted that because the African continent is so diverse in culture and traditions there is consequently a wide range of food and different methods and styles of cooking a similar food from one country to the next within Africa. Even within the same country, different ethnic groups will prepare the same dish differently. The term ‘African food’ is therefore a complete misnomer. Traditionally in Ghana, and indeed in the rest of Africa, girls learn to cook at an early age. A young adult will first go to the local market with the mother to watch how she selects the best of the fresh ingredients for a particular dish, then the child will help with little chores and take instructions from the mother in the kitchen while she cooks. By her mid-teens the child (usually a daughter, but not exclusively so) is a budding good cook herself. This is how mouth-watering Ghanaian foods are passed on from mother to daughter, from one generation to the next, intact and undiluted.
Happy Cooking & Eating