Sunday, June 17, 2012

La Cuisine

Long over due food post! Generally speaking, I like Gabonese food. The main proteins are chicken and fish. Vegetable-wise it's a lot of spinach-like greens, eggplant, tomatoes, and root veggies like manioc and taro. The mangoes and pineapple are out of this world, and I could eat fried bananas for the rest of my life.

The brown root things are manioc "tubercules" and the red things are "noix de palme" which means more or less palm nuts in English.

Lots of noix de palme

The manioc root is fermented and made into a stick form, then wrapped and sold in a leaf. It smells and tastes horrendous.

Typical meal at refectoire.

Also typical refectoire meal. Boiled bananas and manioc leaves with some sort of smoked fish. Some batches are really good, others are really oily. Gabonese food has a LOT of oil.

Unidentified meat, taro (like a more bland potato) and grapefruit.

The following are pictures from when I learned to make Nyemboue (unsure of spelling). It is a sauce made with the noix de palme. Arnaud taught me how!

First you wash the noix and boil them in water.

Then you transfer to the mortar. We borrowed my neighbor's mortar, which she had just used to make piment (spicey sauce). We decided to put a bag in the mortar to protect the nyemboue from becoming similar to lava.

And then you crush the noix!

Then you remove the pit of the nut and add water to make the sauce.

This was the entire meal from that day. We added smoked fish to the nyemboue. The bottom left is eggplant and top right is a spinach-like green with smoked fish also. Then of course, friend bananas.

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