In college, I knew a grad student from Cameroon — his government was paying for his Ph.D with the stipulation that he must return and use his education to help his country.
The country’s name is derived from Rio dos Camarões (“River of Prawns”)—the name given to the Wouri River estuary by Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries. Camarões was also used to designate the river’s neighbouring mountains.
Cameroon is triangular in shape and is bordered by Nigeria to the northwest, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, the Republic of the Congo to the southeast, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest.
My friend invited us over for dinner one night. Because he’d had polio as a child, he’d been stuck at home with not much to do except follow his mother around the kitchen. Thus, he learned to cook. Wish I could remember the name of one dish he made for us — it involved kale, I think, and definitely ground chicken gizzards, and was delicious. His peanut butter soup was superb.
It has been many years since I tasted my friend’s peanut butter soup. And while this recipe is not specifically labeled Cameroonian, it looks like what I remember eating. The other videos I watched don’t. So… [5:57]:
Serve with rice & you’ve got dinner! (Caveat: I love hot but I’m pretty sure my friend didn’t use any habanero peppers in his soup — proceed with caution in that regard.)
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Each major ethnic group of the country has developed its own culture. The vigorous rhythms played on the drums by the people of the southern forest region contrast with the flute music of northern Cameroonians. In the Adamawa area, the Muslim Fulani produce elaborately worked leather goods and ornate calabashes (gourds used as containers), and the Kirdi and the Matakam of the western mountains produce distinctive types of pottery. The powerful masks of the Bali, which represent elephants’ heads, are used in ceremonies for the dead, and the statuettes of the Bamileke are carved in human and animal figures. The Tikar people are famous for beautifully decorated brass pipes, the Ngoutou people for two-faced masks, and the Bamum for smiling masks.
Koki corn looks SO good, I want some right now — and btw, you can also find banana leaves in the freezer section of most Latinx groceries [12:48]:
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French Cameroon rejected the Vichy government in World War II and became an important African base for Charles de Gaulle’s Free French. In 1946 British and French rule in Cameroon was reaffirmed under U.N. trusteeships. In 1958 the French trusteeship was abolished, and the Republic of Cameroon became independent on Jan. 1, 1960.
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History records that this renowned dish [Jollof Rice] originated in the SeneGambia region of West Africa. In the Wollof/Jollof Empire during the 14th-16th century, the Portuguese created a coastal trade zone and introduced commodities including tomatoes to Senegal. At the time, rice and grain cultivation was prominent in Senegal and were used often in many dishes. Out of these two major ingredients, rice and tomatoes, came the Sengalese thieboudienne “Senegalese Jollof Rice.” … [T]hrough human migration, the jollof rice recipe crossed geographic borders into other West African countries where each country adopted their own variations of this dish.
It’s a celebratory sort of dish, and this lady makes a terrific-looking version [22:07]:
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Mashed potatoes and beans… 😋
I’m talking about Pomme Pileés, Banso Tukuni, Pommes de Terre, or simply put mashed potatoes and beans. ✂️ Pommes Pileés is a staple dish originating from the West and Northwest Regions of Cameroon. It’s known to the Banso people of the Northwest Region as Tukuni and is a part of their traditional dishes.
In the West and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, potatoes and beans are some of the most frequently consumed crops. Pomme Pileé’s high macronutrient contents … [make] it not only a family favorite but a farmer’s favorite. It’s an energy packed dish that also doesn’t spoil easily (even under the hot African sun!).
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This one looks difficult: Achu Soup.
Traditionally prepared and consumed by the Ngemba people from the Northwest Region of Cameroon, achu soup consists of boiled and pounded cocoyams, canwa (lime stone), water, spices, and palm oil. The palm oil changes the color of the soup to yellow, which is the reason why achu soup is also known as yellow soup.
When served, it is typically paired with beef or fish, which can be boiled, fried, or smoked.
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Remember that bridge?
The spelling changes depending on which site I go to, but these banana fritters made with cassava (yuca) look delicious. Many call them Accra Banana Fritters, so that’s what I’m going with, lol. [8:51]
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This was fun: the videographer goes to a remote village to see coffee being grown. There are some sound problems at times, but it’s a great little travelogue that’s definitely off the beaten path [13:57]:
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So come on in & grab a cup of something nice…
…and a nice nosh…
…and join us!
New Day Cafe is an open thread. What’s on your mind today?