A Taste of Ghana

As I begin to prepare to leave for Ghana (t-54!), I’ve been of course reading the Brandt travel guide I recently bought (oddly, the only guide book exclusively made for Ghana). But, admittedly, I’ve been drifting to other sources, such as the New York Times-A Taste of Ghana. The NYT guide for “36 hours in Lima” proved as an excellent starting point for our culinary excursions, and I imagine this article to have a similar effect.

If you don’t read the article-here’s what caught my attention “…few countries reward the sidewalk chowhound as well as Ghana. From rough-hewn sheds, women sell sharp wedges of starchy yam, perfectly fried in splendorously saturated palm oil and slathered with a fiery sauce of pulverized Scotch bonnet peppers and garlic. From stainless steel bowls perched atop their heads, women dish out hearty bowls of perfectly spiced stew and rice, endlessly customizable with a plethora of condiments, from crunchy vegetables to a hard-boiled egg.”

I need a moment…I’m stuck on the prospect of fiery pulverized scotch bonnets.

I’ve been accused, occasionally of lacking emotional expression. But for some reason, reading this makes me giddy, childish even. It is my form of exploration I suppose, finding new and exciting flavors and feeling (at least a little) part of a cultural tradition I would normally never experience.

There is little I hate more (in the traveling world) than feeling like a tourist (yes, I AM, I know…). So when traveling, my ultimate goal is to catch even the slightest glimpse of what it’s like to be a local, which is why street food appeals so much to me. This is the food that feeds the people that live there, not some watered down “approachable” western rendition.

Throw me into the overwhelming throngs of people weaving in a crowded market. The heat, the smells, the people yelling. Granted, I can only last a little while, but it’s exhilarating-and I love it.

I’ll get around to reading more about the history of Ghana, but for now I’m too enthralled with it’s food culture. I’m growing more excited each day.

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