Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Food, glorious food!

I am super excited about this blog!
Over the last 7 months while living in Freetown I have been brave enough, as some would say, to try almost every type of food I have found being sold on the street.  And this blog is a rundown of some of my favourites!
The first thing I discovered to buy on the streets were these:

Plantain chips.
If you have been to Africa or maybe South America, you will probably know what these are.  Actually you can buy these from Trader Joe’s too (in the USA).   Plantains are grown in the more tropical areas of the world and are a very common food here.  We see them sold as a whole fruit, very similar to the banana we know, but often picked and cooked unripe so not sweet to the taste like a banana.  After the plantains are peeled, they are thinly sliced and deep fried, bagged and sold as plantain chips.  YUM!

The next most common favourite for me is the popcorn.

It is sold by the bag, options of sweet or salty and only 500 Leone (about 25c).  It stores quite well too, so a little stock in the cupboard never goes to waste.

The most common food sold on the streets, carried on plates balancing on ladies heads, are these:

Peanuts, or ground nuts as they are known in Krio.  You can choose between peanuts in the shells, roasted nuts in the skins or skinned and bagged.  They are also very cheap to buy and a yummy snack!

During my field service in Freetown as part of the Gateway program I attended in Texas for Mercy Ships, some of the girls became obsessed with Nutella.  When we found these:

Delicious ginger nut biscuits, with a real ginger aftershock, they quickly became the naughty, tasty treat to be dipped into the Nutella jar!  And only 1,500 Leone to buy!

A few more favourites, not just shared by my opinion but also those of my friends are the few that follow:

African doughnuts- when you find them fresh are relatively soft and nice to eat, although very oily!  But also good with Nutella!

 African shortbread cookies are found in containers also balanced on ladies heads.  I think they are made in mass production and sold to whichever individual who wants to sell them, because some days you see them sold everywhere and some days they are nowhere to be found.  They are a nice sweet treat.

African scones are nice with a cup of tea or butter and jam.  Similar to a scone from home, but not as light and fluffy!

Coconut cup shells are another nice crunchy snack.

A staple in the diet of Africans is white bread like this:

You can eat it plain as it is baked fresh every day or you can choose to have a filing, honey or something savoury like fish.

My all time favourite are these:

Sesame seed snaps.  Roasted sesame seeds all stuck together with a sweet sticky honey.  YUM!

And lastly my newest favourite:

Ginger bread!  Chewy ginger bread with strings of real ginger!  SO GOOD!  But so far i haven't seen them sold on the streets of Freetown!  I will definitely keep my eyes open for them!

And for a drink?

A bag of water.  Bite a hole in the side and rehydrate yourself!  :)

I love buying food on the street from stalls I’m walking past but my favourite is when I’m just sitting in the car and I can buy it from people walking past the landrover!  It’s like a drive thru, only the people are walking past because the traffic is so bad!  HaHa! 

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