Ghanaian cuisine has diverse traditional dishes from each ethnic group, from the north to the south and from the east to west. Generally, most Ghanaian foods are made up of a starchy portion (fondly referred to by Peter Harvey (a nurse from Aus also at the clinic) as the ball of starch) which consists of either (rice, fufu, banku, kenkey, ablolo, akporhe…). Accompanying the ball of starch is a tomato, palmnut or groundnut (peanut) based sauce or soup with fish, ocra, cheese, grasscutter (a wild rat), beef, goat or poultry. Other popular dishes include garri (cassava flour- like tapioca), fried fish with pepper sauce, fried rice, watse (rice & beans), able (shredded fish with tomato paste), Bobo (beans and fried plantains with palm oil) (I LOVE bobo).
For the nutritionists and foodies out there, the process of preparing the ball of starch is truly an art to be admired. Learned over generations, the preparation of the cassava and maize flours involves drying, milling and fermenting. A dream for the digestion. The fermentation stage is very important, complex grains are very difficult to digest and this step is often left out in commercial and modern household grain preparation. As well, soups and stews do not discriminate between cuts of meat- Its all added- organs and all. Sally Fallon’s dream.
What I learned is that many people eat the same thing 3 times a day. The meals are wholesome and heavy on the meat and starch side of things (sound familiar?? Its much like North America- but different foods). When I asked if they ate fruit- most people answered either “no” or “fruit was for children”. Fruit trees and plants (mango, pineapple, banana, lychee, orange, lemon, lime, papaya, avocado) are plentiful and fruits literally rot on the plant.