Travel Channel: Street Foods International Premiere

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The premiere of the final African-themed Travel Channel special I assisted with during my year in Ghana with YES Abroad is fast approaching!

Street Foods International: February 13, 2013 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Following is the video of my appearance on Fast Foods Gone Global: Africa.


Note: ‘Caramelly’ definitely sounded like a real word to me when I was ‘in the moment’. I apologize immensely to every English teacher I’ve had over the previous 12 years. Here’s a cute kitty photo I took during the shoot to make up for me inventing words…

cute kitty ghana

For Street Foods International, the upcoming show, I will make one solo cameo, one with my cooking school teacher Auntie Charity, and a final one with my fellow YES Abroad friends.

auntie charity interview

All in all it should make a pretty great episode with plenty of good Ghanaian eats including wagashi, okra stew, and the following pounded fermented rice pancake that I can’t seem to remember the local name of:

carl filming pounded rice pancake

Anyways I hope y’all can find the time to tune into my next appearance! It was a blast having the opportunity to be Production Assistant, and I’m sure that the end result will be fantastic.

ayoyo stew

Travel Channel Announcement

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I am elated to announce the following dates for two African-themed Travel Channel specials that I assisted with during my year in Ghana with YES Abroad.

Fast Foods Gone Global: January 2, 2013 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Street Foods International: February 13, 2013 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time

EDIT: The show will replay on Wednesday, March 13 at 3:00 PM EST!

While I want to keep some aspects of this experience secret until the shows air, I do want to answer two questions about the experience in advance:

How did they find you?!

The first show I helped out with is Fast Foods Gone Global. Coincidentally, I wrote a blog posted called Ghanaian Fast Food. Tremendous! Entertainment found this post, and we exchanged e-mails for multiple months. Eventually, I was asked to be their Production Assistant.

‘Production Assistant’ sounds fancy, what on earth did you do?!

Basically I assisted with scheduling, local-food knowledge  and on-camera talent. Occasionally,  I did voice-overs for the writers so they could know exactly what they were looking at being filmed.

travel channel voiceover

For Fast Foods Gone Global, I was involved behind-the-scenes, although I may have a cameo or two. Both shows showcase all of Africa, so Ghana will be featured for roughly 6-10 minutes of the hour.

For Street Foods International, I filmed  segments with Auntie Charity (my cooking school teacher), and with my fellow YES Abroad students. It was a blast getting everyone involved, and I look forward to seeing the end result.

travel channel eating with auntie charity

I would like to thank Matt of Tremendous Inc!, Patrick, Mike, Carl, Robin, Eunice, Auntie Charity, and everyone else I had the pleasure of working with during my three-day stint as Production Assistant.  Our brief time spent filming was the pinnacle of my Ghana experience, and gave me a fantastic means to share everything I learned throughout my year abroad.

travel channel patrick and robin

And once again, another thank you to the fabulous staff and volunteers of YES Abroad, AFS-USA, AFS-GH, the American-Ghanaian Embassies, Flair Catering, and fellow exchange students to Ghana. I would not have had such a monumental experience without the effort of each and every one of you, and cannot thank you enough.

travel channel beach sceneFor everyone new checking out my blog, please feel free to subscribe to future posts using the button on the right sidebar. I will be sending out future Travel Channel updates and news closer to the shows’ release.

Happy Holidays,

Avery Segal

Flair: Weeks 4 & 5

While in previous weeks I might take the back seat in cooking classes to Ghanaian helpers, my ability to multitask has noticeably improved. Lately I have been able to take on more meal components and complete them with greater efficiency. I also broke down [half] of a chicken for the first time this week.

Practicals Day 7:

Baked Pollo

I first tasted pollo in November, and it has since become one of my favorite street foods. My only problem was it being difficult to find – but that’s solved now that I can make it for myself!

I bought the coconuts whole,  forgetting to ask the seller to crack them and remove the outer skin.  The result was half an hour of work hitting them against the wall and flaking away the meat with a knife the next day. Afterwards, we grated the meat to mix with the pollo dough.

Pollo is thick and dense, but a winner thanks to the heavenly taste of the coconut and vanilla extract. This is one biscuit I’ll absolutely be making in the States.

Red Red (Bean Stew with Fried Plantain)

Despite its deliciousness, bean stew does not photograph well. The flavors that shine are the earthiness of the local black-eyed peas and the smokey flavor of the tuna.

The trick to frying plantains is starting with the oil not being excessively hot. As the plantain cooks, one should gradually raise the heat so that the oil will cook itself out of the plantain. A properly fried plantain is not greasy.

Practicals Day 8:

Fried Pollo

The fried pollo was lighter and fluffier than the baked version, but far inferior in the taste department. The recipe in my cookbook was not written correctly; the mixture ended up being too wet. This issue was solved by adding more flour, but then the quantities of the other ingredients were screwy.

Groundnut Soup with Omo Tuo

I’m not even going to bother attaching my photos; my groundnut soup and omo tuo (rice balls) were not pleasant on the eyes .

Groundnuts are peanuts; groundnut soup is actually peanut butter soup. While I enjoy the flavor of this soup, I find it to be too heavy for my tastes. I prefer the sauces in Thai curries, where the peanut butter is diluted with coconut milk. Groundnut soup  feels thick and dense in my stomach. The soup is flavored with salt, cayenne, stock, and shrimp/herring powder. I personally think that a spoonful of brown sugar would have worked wonders in the soup, but I didn’t have any at the time.

Omo tuo is rice cooked until soft, pounded, and shaped into balls. Unlike last week’s banku, I was able to shape the omo tuo by myself.  Obrunis tend to love omo tuo since it is one of the few non-fermented starches around.

Practicals Day 9:

Egg and Koobi Stew

The difference between this stew versus an ‘ordinary’ Ghanaian stew is the added ‘Oomph’ from using extra curry powder. My only complaint was that I didn’t wash the koobi enough. Koobi is tilapia packed with salt and dried in the sun for days; washing it three times wasn’t nearly enough. The high salt levels made the fish nearly inedible. The stew was great though.

 Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Excess grated coconut from the pollo was  lightly browned in the oven, and the cookies were rolled in it before baking.

These cookies were extremely rich, crumbly, and delicious from the toasted coconut. I ate roughly 1/3 of them, and brought the rest home to my new host family. They were gone by the following morning.

Flair Catering School: Week Three

After two weeks of making exclusively Ghanaian foods, I was ready for a break. In week three I learned how to prepare a hodge-podge of breakfast foods, and later catered an Italian feast for the birthday of my AFS friend Bany.

Practicals Day 5:

Pineapple Jam

Pineapple jam was actually very easy to make, and far superior to the one available in the market. All it required was grating pineapple in a pot with water, lemon juice, sugar, and a few cloves.

Nothing else was added. The jam consistency was achieved simply by boiling the fruit for over two hours to eliminate most of the water.

As you can see from the above picture, more than half of the juice was boiled away. No thickeners were added. The jam was very fruity and delicious, but the added sugar was too much since the pineapples were very ripe. Next time I’ll half the sugar, or try making the jam using local honey.

Dinner Rolls

This was the first time I had ever kneaded dough. Some of my classmates were shocked when I said that back home I usually buy pre-made pizza dough at Publix or Whole Foods.

It took me a while to find the rhythm of kneading. While I was doing so, Ghanaians stared at me – shocked at a white man doing such work.

Eggs Six Ways

By my request, I leaned six different ways to prepare eggs. Eggs are something new to my diet since arriving in Ghana, and I actually enjoy them prepared almost every way:

  • Omelette – My favorite preparation, especially with added onions, sweet peppers, and tomatoes.
  • Sunny Side Up – Also great, although the texture of the egg white was puzzling at first. It’s amazing how versatile eggs are.
  • Soft Boiled – My favorite out of the boiled.
  • Hard Boiled – Not bad, I just find the yolk a bit too dry.
  • Boiled (in the shell) – At first, I really liked the soft and liquidy texture of the egg seasoned with the black pepper inside. But as I ate more and more, I enjoyed it less and less. After eating roughly half of the egg, I stopped as I was starting to feel nauseous.
  • Poached – The white was very good, but the yolk felt as though it was still raw. I gagged through one, and gave the second away.
I ate a grand total of eight eggs that day; three for breakfast/lunch, and two to go with my rice for dinner. What can I say; I didn’t want them to go bad! I’m not kidding when I say that my favorite part of culinary school is getting to eat everything I make…
Don’t poached eggs look mystical?!

Practicals Day 6

Minestrone Soup

While I’ve made minestroni soup many times before, this was the first time I was given a recipe to follow for it. I chopped potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and spring onions very small, added them at the end of the soup so they would keep their freshness.
The result was nothing spectacular. I preferred to add more vegetables, pasta, and beans to the soup – but I was told to keep it simple. While it got great reviews from my fellow YES students, I felt it tasted like canned soup…
Garlic Knots
To make these, I started with dinner roll dough and shaped them into knots. After they were halfway baked, I brushed them with a mixture of olive oil, fresh garlic, Italian herbs, and salt.
No telling Mama, but these knots were actually better than hers! The freshly made dough was extraordinarily light and fluffy, while the herbs added another layer of flavor to the garlicyness. I made eight large knots for six people, and they were gone within minutes.
Spaghetti Marinara

I’m starting to really appreciate spaghetti marinara.  It’s simple enough to be made in minutes, yet extremely delicious.

An added bonus is that I can throw in ‘the kitchen sink’ of vegetables and it only enhances the flavor. Today I used fresh zucchini (squash), tomatoes, cabbage, onion, garlic, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cauliflower, and basil I had bought from the market. The vegetables were much-loved by everyone, seeing as how they are notably absent from the standard Ghanaian diet.

My teacher, Auntie Charity, had never tasted spaghetti marinara before. She took a small bite, and her eyes opened wide; I could  immediately tell that she loved it. She stifled a cough, and told me to add a little salt to the dish. After following her advice, she asked me to make her a plate so she could further ‘check the seasoning’.

Happy 17th birthday Bany!

Flair Catering School: Week Two

During week two of catering classes, I learned Ghanaian dishes including two classic stews, some amazing deep-fried street food, and a traditional (and very delicious) hibiscus drink.

Practicals Day 3:

Akpiti & Adunlei

Both akpiti (left) and adunlei (right) are made of a deep-fried, unfermented corn flour.

Adunlei (monkey tails)
Akpiti are rolled into ovals and covered with groundnuts (peanuts).

Mama always said that if you deep fried a shoe, it’d taste good. And while I have yet to taste a deep-fried shoe, the theory of anything deep-fried tasting delicious has yet to be proven wrong.

The adunlei was far superior to the akpiti in my eyes. The adunlei’s crust was crispy, while the inside was light and fluffy. This is definitely something I’ll be making back home – when my cholesterol is feeling low.

Kontomire Stew

The egg-like mixture seen in the above stew is actually pounded agushie (melon seeds), fried in palm oil.

Kontomire (taro leaves) remind me of a mild kale.

I also used koobi – a tilapia covered with salt and dried in the sun for days. After boiling and stewing, it was perfectly scrumptious.

Final Meal:

Practicals Day 4:

Bisarp Drink

The hibiscus flowers pictured above were boiled for 15 minutes with half of a prekese pod. The deep burgundy colored mixture was then strained and finished by mixing in ginger, sugar syrup, whole dried cloves, and freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice. The flavor was that of a very robust tea – the ginger and cloves were outstanding.

Okro Stew

For this stew, okro and garden eggs (similar to eggplants) were sliced and sauteed together.

Crabs, salmon, tuna, and koobi were added along with onions, palm oil, and tomatoes. My teacher told me to make sure to buy the live crabs, since I don’t know when the dead ones had died. The live crabs were placed in a plastic bag and put in my backpack; until I got home, I kept checking to make sure they were still in there.

The dish was served with banku – fermented corn and cassava dough.

Stirring the banku dough while it was on the fire was very difficult – a superhuman feat in my opinion. After I failed miserably, a Ghanaian classmate took over, yielding the following end result.

To be honest, okra stew is not my favorite dish. It’s not the slimy texture that puts me off – I just feel as though it uses too many flavors and fails to mold together into one cohesive dish.

Below are two  classmates who helped me on day three of practicals.

Note: I did not grow a ‘banku belly’; the shirt I was wearing was too big for me…

Flair Catering School: Week One

My first week of catering school has come and gone. It was a blast; I learned a lot and got the opportunity to meet many Ghanaians with similar interests and values.

One note about my Ghanaian culinary school experience is that there weren’t fundamental lessons to begin. I started in the kitchen, and am learning everything on the spot.

Everyone cooks in their own station, as seen above.

Day One of Practicals:

On the first day, I came to school dressed in jeans and a t-shirt (for lack of a uniform), to meet my Ghanaian class. They had all been cooking together since August, and most were in their 20’s and 30’s. Their uniform consisted of a chef’s jacket, pants, and the ‘signature’ chef hat. I wanted to take a candid photo of them working, but didn’t want to scare everyone away on my first day.

They were preparing a European influenced menu  – shrimp cocktails, dinner rolls, spaghetti bolognese, and a pineapple upside-down cake . My mentor was also the one looking after the Ghanaians, so I began by copying recipe handouts.

After copying several European/American recipes such as ‘green salad’, ‘pasta and tuna salad’, and ‘beef olives’, I told my teacher- Auntie Charity- that I wasn’t interested in such recipes.  She replaced my previous handout with one full of Ghanaian recipes, and I copied several before leaving to go to the market.

At Circle, I bought white dress shirts ($3 each) before heading to Malata market in New Town. This market is massive, and will be the main source of my raw ingredients. I started navigating by buying an onion. After doing so, I asked where my next ingredient was, and repeated accordingly. After 2.5 hours I held two massive grocery bags, and a checked off shopping list. I paid a girl to carry my bags on her head to the trotro stop, and returned home.

Day Two of Practicals:

I started off by cooking a very simple menu – by my request. Most of the work was done by me, although I did have Auntie Charity and Eddy (another Ghanaian student) helping me at times. That being said, I learned how to do everything myself.

Vegetable Jollof Rice

After prepping all the vegetables, Eddy showed me how to break down a whole chicken into pieces. As soon as the pieces were seasoned, it headed over to the frying pan.

By far the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. The meat was succulent and juicy – but not greasy despite the excess oil from being fried.

After the chicken was finished cooking, we started a basic tomato ‘gravy’ by sauteing onions and garlic in palm oil. After both were caramelized, we added fresh tomatoes followed by canned tomato puree, and spices. After the puree simmered for several minutes, our gravy was finished.

The jollof was finished by cooking rice in the gravy and garnishing with blanched carrots/green beans.


Ofam is a type of spicy plantain bread/cake. It’s made by mashing overripe (black) plantains, and adding flour, ginger, cayenne, and a few other seasonings. I personally prefer banana bread, and thought the ofam was just okay. But the Ghanaians went crazy over it!

Fruit Salad

While I’ve made many a fruit salad in my time, this one had more of an emphasis on presentation. Each fruit was cut uniformly – the pineapple into widgets, the banana into rings, and the mango and papaya into cubes. I learned how to supreme oranges by cuting out the individual sections so that no skin, pith, or membrane is included.

The melon basket handle was carved by me, whereas the rest was done by Auntie Charity.

Day Three:

About halfway through yesterday’s work, I cut my thumb pretty badly with an archaic potato peeler. Due to me not bringing a pair of gloves, I was sidelined as Eddy/Charity finished preparing my meal.

Green Salad

While I could have certainly made this without assistance and a recipe, it was certainly the best salad I’ve had in Ghana. I whipped up a  homemade dijon vinaigrette to accompany it.

Fun Fact: Avocados are called pears in Ghana. The sweet pears are also called pears, but aren’t commonly eaten.

Roasted Potatoes

Again – a dish I could easily make at home. But this was the first time in Ghana I’ve eaten potatoes prepared without either being french fries or boiled, and it was delectable. Potatoes are my ultimate comfort food; when I return I’ll likely overdose on them.

Whole Roasted Chicken

The chicken was very simple to make. It was rubbed inside and out with seasoning (fresh garlic and onion, all purpose seasoning, and salt), and filled with homemade stuffing – rice cooked with parsley and other herbs. While I never was a fan of the ‘fresh’ taste of parsley back home, I have to admit that it ‘worked’ in the rice. Trussing the chicken took several minutes, but wasn’t overly difficult. We basted it every 10-15 minutes with a mixture of palm oil, garlic, onion, salt, and cayenne pepper.

The chicken lay on a lettuce bed with sliced onions and tomato flowers. The flowers were unexpectedly easy – all it involved was zigzaging through the middle of the tomato.

My first week was both fantastic and exhausting. It’s not easy working in a room where twenty gas burners are lit at any given moment and there are only two ceiling fans. But it’s worth it – preparing food is a great way to dive into the Ghanaian culture.

The AFS Ghana staff enjoying my dishes

Frank’s Spot

Last week, I posted about the uniquely named caterers in the small town of Busua. As it turns out, Busua is full of characters. Today I’ll  be introducing my favorite – Frank.

Frank owns a ‘spot’ (another name for a restaurant or bar) in Busua. It featured a variety of items – everything from pancakes and porridge to spaghetti and banana shakes. Everything on the menu (besides the $6 lobster) is available for under three U.S. dollars.

Our group of seven went to Frank's Spot for breakfast and ordered the following items:
  • Eggs with Bread x2
  • Oats with Bread
  • Local Porridge (Koko) with Bread
  • Banana Pancakes
  • Pineapple Pancakes
  • Supper Spaghetti
To drink, we ordered the following items:
  • Banana Shakes x3
  • Milo (Hot Chocolate)
  • Tea
  • Orange Juice

Frank’s Spot kitchen (note the two-burner stove)

Seconds after taking our orders, Frank sprinted out of the door without notice.
Several minutes later, he came back with full a bag of groceries. “Okay,” we thought. He was missing a few ingredients to make what we ordered.


He served the banana shakes first – which turned out to be surprisingly delicious. Despite not being served cold (and being made using only a fork to mash the banana), the creaminess of the milk and sweetness of the banana paired wonderfully together. After everyone tasted how delicious the shake was, we called Frank over to the table and requested two more banana shakes in addition to one more glass of Milo.

“Okay,” he said scratching his head. After making sure that was our only change, he sprinted out of the restaurant. We peered out of the window and watched him run down the street and go into a nearby store. He came back carrying two bananas to make shakes  and a package of Milo.


As Frank prepared our meals, he alternated between frantically cooking on his two-burner stove and sprinting out of his store to buy last-minute items. For instance, after making the drinks he ran out and bought oats. After preparing the oats, he ran out to buy eggs. After making the omelets, he bought the spaghetti – and so on. It turns out that Frank didn’t own a single ingredient – he bought everything as he realized he needed it.
The reasoning behind this is likely because Frank’s Spot doesn’t get very much business. By purchasing ingredients ‘on-demand’, Frank saves money by avoiding waste. It’s a smart idea, particularly if you don’t have money to spare.

Since Frank’s Spot was a one-man operation, breakfast for seven took more than two hours to eat. This was primarily due to the fact that every items came individually as it was made. But it was worth the wait – Frank prepared the best breakfast I’ve had in Ghana, and some of the best pancakes I’ve had in my life.

The pancakes were thinner than American ones, with crispy edges. Sugar crystals could occasionally be tasted inside the pancakes, giving them enough sweetness to make them exciting and not even need any sauce or syrup (although I used the local honey anyways). The local pineapple served with the pancakes was perfectly ripe and absolutely divine.

Each dish tasted as fabulous as my pineapple pancakes. Balthazar went as far as saying that his ‘supper spaghetti’ should rather be called ‘super spaghetti’.
Frank’s Place not only had outstanding food at great prices, but also provided lots of laughs due to Frank’s frequent trips to buy more ingredients. One thing’s for certain – if I ever come back, I’m going to give him a token of appreciation for his hard work – a notepad to make shopping lists.

Kélé Wélé Recipe


Today my host mom prepared kélé wélé for the first time. While I've enjoyed fried plantains many times in Ghana, kélé wélé's aromatic seasoning blend of cloves, ginger, and pepper puts it in an entirely different league of its own.

Kélé Wélé Recipe

Serves 6 people with normal appetites or 3 Ghanaians.


  • 6 extremely ripe, yellow or black plantains
  • One piece of ginger, roughly 1 square inch
  • One clove of garlic
  • One small handful of cloves
  • One small handful of black peppercorns
  • Salt
  • Coconut or vegetable oil for frying


1. Peel the ripe plantains and cut them into small strips.

2. Place  garlic, ginger, cloves, salt, and pepper in a mortar and pestle or a mini food-processor with a small amount of water. Grind until it reaches a paste-like consistency.

Paste before grinding

Paste after grinding


3. Marinate the plantains in the paste for 30 minutes.

4. Heat coconut or vegetable oil. Once hot, add the marinated plantains and fry until golden brown.


5. Serve with roasted groundnuts (peanuts) and/or plain rice with stew. Enjoy!

Ghanaian Local Foods: Rices & Doughs

Plain and simple, Ghanaians love carbs. They are the main component in a local diet, and I have yet to have a single meal that doesn't feature them.

This list will be updated as I discover more foods to add.

Rice Dishes:


[easyreview title="Plain Plain Rice with Stew" cat1title="Taste" cat1detail="Ghanaian stew is made of tomatoes, tomato paste, and onions. Although at first I saw this dish as boring, I now see the simplicity as refreshing and I enjoy it – despite eating it nearly every day. When made with local brown rice, it is fantastic – the brown rice has a rich, earthy taste." cat1rating="3" cat2title="Texture" cat2detail="Ghanaian white rice has a similar texture and taste to that of white rice in the U.S., but the local brown rice is 'something else'. It is plumper and more moist than brown rice in America, and is absolutely delicious. Beware: if the rice is not washed carefully by the cook, you'll end up eating stones with your rice." cat2rating="3" cat3title="Overall Appeal" cat3detail="Rice with stew is the perfect 'go-to' dish. It's decent when eaten with white rice, but with brown rice it is refreshingly delicious. Top it off with a nice piece of wagashi* (see below) or fried plantains, and you have yourself a perfect lunch." cat3rating="3"]

Local brown rice with stew and wagashi* (deep-fried cheese)


[easyreview title="Jollof Rice – rice cooked in tomato stew" cat1title="Taste" cat1detail="The taste varies widely based on the chef. Some jollof tastes strongly of stew, while others have a mild taste of stew and a strong taste of smoked redfish. I see it as nothing special, but a decent meal nonetheless." cat1rating="2.5" cat2title="Texture" cat2detail="Similar to that of Spanish rice, but drier." cat2rating="2" cat3title="Overall Appeal" cat3detail="Jollof rice is a 'safety' – a food I can cheaply buy on the street, and know that I will leave satisfied. It's nothing spectacular." cat3rating="2.5"]

Jollof rice


[easyreview title="Waakye* (pronounced 'wahche')" cat1title="Taste" cat1detail="When making waakye, local brown rice and 'beans' (black-eyed peas) are cooked together to create a delicious combination that must be tasted to be truly appreciated. Local black-eyed peas taste  far superior to canned ones in America – and much more like dirt. That is – the most delicious dirt in the world. The mild flavor and earthiness make waakye one of the dishes that I can't wait to bring to the United States. Even though it's usually served with stew or shito (a black pepper/dried shrimp sauce), the subtle flavor cues of the rice and beans are enough for me. " cat1rating="2.5" cat2title="Texture" cat2detail="The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – when properly prepared, the plumpness of the rice combined with the 'melt in your mouth' beans is stunning to behold. But be careful when ordering; if not washed properly, the stones and dirt overwhelm the dish." cat2rating="4" cat3title="Overall Appeal" cat3detail="My favorite of the rice dishes, waakye is nothing short of spectacular. When the dish is properly prepared, the local Ghanaian ingredients elevate the dish to the highest of highs." cat3rating="4"]

Waakye with fried plantains: This photo does not do it justice.

Waakye wrapped in ganye


The Doughs:

[easyreview title="Tuo Zafi* (dough made of powdered corn or cassava/semovita flour)" cat1title="Taste" cat1detail="The dough is very bland – the flavor comes from being dipped into soups and stews. This is the only non-fermented dough eaten in Ghana that I know of, and is nice because of how plain it is. When made of corn it tastes like unsalted grits." cat1rating="3" cat2title="Texture" cat2detail="When very fresh, tuo zafi is either soft and spongy, or smooth and doughy. Though the texture varies widely, tuo zafi is always enjoyable. " cat2rating="2" cat3title="Overall Appeal" cat3detail="Tuo zafi is likely my favorite type of dough, primarily because it is paired with great soups and doesn't have the sour 'fermented' taste.'" cat3rating="3"]

Fresh tuo zafi

[easyreview title="Banku (dough made of fermented corn powder)" cat1title="Taste" cat1detail="Despite being made of corn powder, I don't really taste the corn – only the fermentation. There's enough fermentation to taste it strongly, but not so much as to make the dough unbearable. When paired with a nice pepper sauce or some okra stew, it is enjoyable." cat1rating="2.5" cat2title="Texture" cat2detail="Banku is firmer than its counterparts, and seems to be more 'filling'.  " cat2rating="3" cat3title="Overall Appeal" cat3detail="While I prefer tuo zafi or riceballs, banku is 'by far' my favorite fermented dough. It's okay by itself, but fantastic when paired with freshly grilled tilapia.'" cat3rating="2.5"]

[easyreview title="Fufu (pounded cassava and unripe plantain)" cat1title="Taste" cat1detail="The unripe plantain overwhelms the cassava – making the fufu dough unpleasantly sour. Although many of my friends have grown to love it, my host family and I can't stand it." cat1rating=".5" cat2title="Texture" cat2detail="Locals say the 'trick to eating fufu is to swallow it whole rather than chew. While swallowing does make finishing a serving quicker, the overwhelming starchiness brings me to the point of gagging. " cat2rating="0" cat3title="Overall Appeal" cat3detail="If I was forced at gunpoint,to make the decision of eating fufu daily for the rest of my life or being shot, I would have a very difficult decision to make.

Hyperboles aside, fufu is a traditional Ghanaian food that is an acquired taste. It's just a matter of asking, 'Do I really want to eat enough fufu to start enjoying it?'" cat3rating=".5"]

My host-dad relieving some stress by pounding fufu.

A '*' signifies that this dish is primarily eaten in Muslim households.