Many cultures within West Africa share a similar cuisine. Foods such as sorghum, millet, rice, maize, peanuts, beans, potatoes, yams, and cassava just to name a few have been staples of the region for generations.
In this part of the world, we eat plant-based foods each day not only by choice, but because most people do not have the means for goat, beef, chicken, or fish, especially in the more rural areas where it is not easy to come across meat. As a result, we derive our protein from sources such as nuts and grains. Legumes, such as lentils, peas, and beans also form a significant source of the protein in our diet.
Historically, West Africans have always relied on plants for when they must trek to other villages far away. They carried food made from beans and grains for strength and endurance, and importantly, most of these foods stay fresh for multiple days without needing to be frozen or reheated.
Through the millenniums, we have evolved various methods to cook these vegetables, grains, and herbs, and each culture has adopted different ways to combine these ingredients in order to make amazing foods with delicious tastes and scintillating aromas.
These same foods have remarkably different names across various regions of Africa.
They are called Chakalaka and Pap in the South, Sadza in Zimbabwa, Gaou or Akara in Togo and Nigeria, and Fufu across the entire region of West Africa. However, as Africans living the global West, we are aware of the difficulty for many to pronounce these names. Consequently, we selected easier to pronounce names such as SunNuts and Raziia which still carry special cultural significance.
All in all, our West African delicacies are as rich in culture and history as they are in nutrients! They are good for your metabolism, immunity, digestion, and energy levels.
Our foods may be unfamiliar to you, but once you try them you’ll certainly be hooked. We can’t wait for you to share in our culture!