On the trotro home from school today, a woman in front of me had a large wooden box on her lap full of pastries for sale. I asked her what they were, and got a one word response:
Upon hearing the "C-word", my hands immediately grabbed a 20 pesewa (12 cent) coin from my pocket. I ordered one piece of it.
It was still hot from the fryer and had a slightly dense, yet slightly flaky texture. The primary flavor was of toasted coconut taste, with a certain creaminess.
I finished it in a matter of seconds. "What is this?" I found myself asking her.
"Pollo," she replied.
I knew that I needed to learn how to make pollo, and asked her if she would teach me how. Alas – English was futile. She responded by opening the container, staring at me, and holding up fingers to ask how many more I would like.
The man two seats away from us overheard the conversation, and asked me for a pen and paper. I complied, and he soon began talking to her in Twi and writing down notes.
About 15 minutes later, he handed me back the following recipe:
How to Prepare Pollo
1. With the help of a grater, grate your dry coconut.
2. Make a sugar solution.
3. Mix the sugar solution with the ground coconut.
4. Add salt per taste.
1. Mix your flour with a ground nut milk (depending on your preference/quantity).
2. Mix your nut milk and flour with the mixture from step 1
1. Roll your mixture on a flat surface.
2. Cut or divide to your proportions
3. In the cooking oil, fry until a light golden brown
Despite there being no indication of quantities on the recipe, my eyes glowed with excitement. I thanked the pollo seller and the translator repeatedly in Twi (meda wo ase).
As my stop was soon approaching, I quickly asked her for her name (Wo din de sen?).
As I exited the trotro, I gave her a 5 cedi ($3) bill to thank her for her troubles and recipe. I stepped off of the trotro- only to have the crinkled-up bill thrown at me in disgust, and hear her yelling at me in Twi. The only word I could understand: