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Delectable food in Liberia

Tue, Sep 14, 2010

Western Africa



Liberian food is almost like a weakness to most people who know what this place and its food is all about. You will get to experience delectable dishes like a pungent mix of palm oil, smoked fish, crawfish, roasted beef and bitter leaf. You might find yourself dipping your finger into the bowl of stew. Right after that you could also treat yourself to a shot of espresso.

The food here is made with many spices and these flavors are influenced by the many immigrants and settlers who have made this tiny coastal country home. This place incorporates the best of African cooking infuse with a tasteful infusion of South American tradition. As this was the place from where the African slaves had brought heir recipes from, and then further refined then and then once again took these recipes back to the African continent. Liberia was colonized by the freed black Americans in the early part of the nineteenth century.

This resulted in cooking in complete Creole style which were a coastal African twist and as the Italians would call it ‘squisito’. This included large pots of stew; which apparently included all kinds of meats like fish, pork, and chicken, shellfish which was finally served with rice or fufu.  This is accompanied with fermented cassava dumplings that are drunk in the favor of this stew.

In this place it so happen that the star of the entire cuisine is the vegetables and not the meats.  And because of this, instead of having a steak with some veges on the side, you could actually have a typical Liberian meal with includes all kinds of meats and also a piece of dried fish. You could probably ask them not to include the piece of dried fish.

What is actually used to differentiate one dish from the other are the different kinds of vegetables that are sued here.  The Liberian traditional method of cooking includes the special procedure of extracting the entire flavor from these vegetables.

This is why you would probably find that the Liberians look forwards to the vegetarian delicacies that accompany their meats.

You can check into the RLJ Kendeja hotel which is just around the area, you could just ask around for directions. While you are here, ask for the local specials like fufu, which is almost dripping in bitter leaf.  Get about four or five bonnet peppers, this may come as a warning to you but you might start sweating as soon as you eat it. The meal would be deliciously good, even though it may be spicy.

You should also go and check out Evelyn’s restaurant bar and grill which is located on brad street Monrovia; this may just turn out to be the capital of the city.  There are potholes in the streets and the traffic here is just awful.  The street lights don’t work and there are young boys who run up to the many cars here and sell dish towels and hard boiled eggs.  This place is usually packed with businessmen and many relief workers and social enthusiast who are dressed in their colorful Tapas and sarongs.

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