THE GHANAIAN KITCHEN

Food is central to human life regardless of where you are in the world. The Ghanaian cuisine is very much influenced by the natural possessions and surroundings of Ghana and by the local climate of the country. The existence of many rivers and lakes, the tropical, warm and rainy, weather, lead to a great evolution of agriculture. All local plants and fruits are highly used as bases of the main foods. Fruits such as banana avocados, papayas and coconuts are not only used for sweet meals, but also as the main course, besides the Ghanaian traditional stew.  Fishing is also a main activity in Ghana and that is why so many meals are based on fish; from soup to snacks and main course. There are diverse traditional dishes from every ethnic group, tribe and clan from the north to the south and from the east to the west. Food also vary according to the season, time of the day, and occasion. Ghanaian main dishes unlike others are organized around a starchy staple food, which goes with a sauce or soup containing a protein source. This is largely influenced by the weather conditions experienced in Ghana.

To begin with, looking at the eastern coastal belt the weather is warm and comparatively dry, the south-west corner is hot and humid and the north of Ghana is hot and dry. The climate of Ghana is tropical and there two main seasons: the wet and dry season. Due to this fact, some crops strive in other regions of the country while others fail, hence resulting in the different cuisine enjoyed from one region to another. For instance, in the south, local drinks and beverages such as “asana” made from fermented maize are common. In the Volta and Ashanti regions, palm wine extracted from the palm tree can be found, but it perishes quickly. It much easier to fine “Akpeteshie” a local gin distilled from palm wine, as it is nonperishable and highly potent. Among Northern communities “ fula” “Burkina” “bisaab” toose” and “lamujee” are common non- alcoholic beverages whereas “ Pito” a local gin made of fermented millet is very popular alcoholic beverage. In urban areas cocoa drinks, fresh coconuts, soy milk, among the rest are very popular. In addition, Ghanaian distilleries produce good quality alcoholic beverages from cocoa, malt, sugar cane, local medicinal herbs and barks. Hence, Ghana has a wide variety of local beverages which pertain to various communities. There are also many local savory foods which have marginalized due to their demand and preparation processes. Ghanaian savory may be fried, barbecued, boiled, roasted, baked or steamed.

In Accra, fried fish is a favorite meal, together with okro, groundnut soup, beans stew or red red popularly known as “yor- ke – gari”, “tatale” and rice balls also known as omo-tuo. In the western region, avocado is very common, snails and mushroom light soup and “Akyeke”. In central of the country, the main dishes includes kenkey with fish and gravy, palm nut soup, jollof , “fante fante” with palm oil and fresh fish, mashed yam and coconut juice. In Ashanti, light soup, the “Akantee” meat, the “Abun Abun” and palm nut soup, yam and cocoyam. In the Volta region, the “Akple” with okro soup, and “Abolo” with shrimp or herrings. Brong – Ahafo is famous for its “Nkotomire soup, cocoyam, “Ampesi” and also their popular drink palm wine. The Northern region is also best represented by thr “Tuo –Zafi, omo-tuo with green leave soup, beans or cowpea with shea nit oil and pepper called the “Tubaani. The upper East and West normally enjoy the same kind of foods. These include rice balls, “Tuo Zaafi”, “Koko” eaten with” koose”. Besides all these, “Fufu” is a meal founf in all regions.

African food joints, locally known as chop bars, serves the country’s staple foods such as grilled tilapia, banku and fufu among others. But chic new breeds of restaurants serve traditional African food in a modern, stylish setting. Prices can range from very cheap to upper end, depending of course on the area and types of restaurant you choose. The best place for eating out in Ghana is Accra; with no end of restaurants and bars, you can grab a bite to eat at any time of the day. Visitors can enjoy the opportunity of testing traditional African meals in the bars and restaurants of Ghana. There are a variety of places to see and a multitude of exciting things to do in Ghana. Good Ghanaian food and great drinks are the other attraction for travelers and tourists in Ghana.

To conclude, Ghanaians are recognized as one of the friendliest people in Africa and the rations they have with the guests us very important to them. Serving food to their guests is a way of expressing themselves and their relations with others. Food is also part of our culture. “All Ghanaians people are cooks” as food is a familiar and hospital way of being friendly, even to strangers or tourists.   

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