Mondongo, Mofongo, Sancocho. Fufu, Cou Cou, and Tum Tum

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Mondongo, Mofongo, and Sancocho are the names of a few dishes throughout the Caribbean, central, and south America. I just love the way these names roll off my tongue. Then there is fufu in Cuba, cou cou in Barbados, fungi/fungee in Antigua, and tum tum in Haiti. There is no way one can deny a connection with African languages and food ways.

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National Museum of African-American History & Culture

A feature of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the Food Ways Exhibition as part of the Cultural Expressions Gallery. The African-American community is well-known for “Soul Food”, but our contributions to American food way history is much more diverse.

On September 24th, 10 a.m. eastern time, NMAAHC’s dedication ceremony will be live-streamed via a link on the museum’s website (nmaahc.si.edu). Live-streaming should begin at least 10-15 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony. The dedication may also be televised (check your local listings).

As a way to encourage support and celebration of the new museum, NMAAHC has created a forum called “Lift Every Voice”.  I’m proud to say Africa In Our Kitchen is a registered supporter of the “Lift Every Voice” campaign. Throughout the inaugural year I will feature food related articles and events that take place at the NMAAHC as well as host events here in Chicago in celebration of this historical event.

I invite you to click on the following link for more information about the Food Ways Exhibition at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Why the African-American museum’s food focus will go beyond soul – The Washington Post

Fried Grits and Arepas

 

Fried grits with fried egg and cheese.
Fried grits with fried egg and cheese.

For those of you who ventured beyond my blog posts and read the “About Me” page of my website, you may recall that I didn’t grow-up eating traditional southern fare, but rather meals heavily influenced by German and Pennsylvania Dutch traditions. So when I heard the term “fried grits” I always thought it was a joke. I mean how can you fry a grit?

On my first visit to Savannah, Georgia, 14 years ago, my eyes were opened. I  was treated to a meal at an upscale restaurant that featured shrimp etouffee and fried grits. Not only were fried grits real, but they were delicious. We requested a short meeting with the chef and exclaimed how delicious the meal was and asked how did he prepare the fried grits. Continue reading “Fried Grits and Arepas”

Hibiscus Tea

 

20160727_132549Hibiscus tea is known by many names all around the world. The three names I’m most familiar with are Hibiscus, Bissap and Sorrel. Hibiscus is called Bissap in Senegal and it is known as Sorrel throughout the Caribbean.

I’m not a big fan of tea, especially in the summer when the temperatures are high. But when I discovered this cold brew recipe for Hibiscus tea, It became a mainstay in my fridge. Sweetened or unsweetened, it’s so refreshing and good for us too. I decided to include Hibiscus/Bissap/Sorrel Tea as a part of my Africa In Our Kitchen Spice Blends and Tea inventory.

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Association of African American Museums Conference

I’m so excited to share that Africa In Our Kitchen will be an on-site vendor at this year’s Association of African-American Museums Conference in Riverside, California.  The conference will be held at the Marriott Riverside Convention Center, 3400 Market St., August 3rd through the 5th.

I will introduce my new line of Africa In Our Kitchen Spice Blends and Tea. My hand mixed spice blends are used in many of the recipes posted on the Africa In Our Kitchen blog. I will also have available handcrafted baskets and tote bags imported from Senegal, west Africa.
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Meat Patties

Spicy meat patties are one of my favorite snack foods.  I like to make them small and serve as an appetizer.  While there are different versions through out the Caribbean islands, Jamaican beef patties are the best known around the United States and Canada. I use sofrito and adobo because they shorten the ingredient list and you have less veggies to chop.

Spicy Meat Patties Regular and Appetizer Size
Spicy Meat Patties
Regular and Appetizer Size

 

For more information and background on some of my favorite snacks click here http://africainourkitchen.com/?page_id=1096 to go the Snack section of the Africa In Our Kitchen website.

For the Recipe click on the “continue reading” link.

 

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SAVEUR Blog Awards

Please nominate Africa In Our Kitchen for the best new food blog category. I would love to have the conversation about foods of the African Diaspora receive more exposure.

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Hello everyone,

I hope you can find time in your busy day to help Africa In Our Kitchen get nominated for the Saveur Best Food Blog award. There are many different categories and you can choose whichever one or more you think is appropriate for me. I was encouraged by a friend to participate in this competition even though my blog/website is very new.  So I decided to go for it. Nomination ends July 18th, so please act soon.

You can read more about each category definition HERE.

You can nominate more than one time so have fun with it!

You can nominate HERE.

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Adobo

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Adobo is a basic dry seasoning mix that is a cornerstone in Latin American cuisine. Primarily consisting of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, it can be purchased bottled in your International or Latin section of most grocery stores today.

My personal recipe incorporates dried oregano and dried parsley with no onion powder. When you make your own you can control the amount of salt you want to use. The Photo above shows the mixture available in “Africa in our Kitchen” gift baskets.

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Low Country Seafood Boil

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Low Country Boil cooked ingredients!
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Low Country Boil Ingredients

Summertime and the living is easy….  I was first introduced to a Low Country Boil when I visited my sister in Savannah, Georgia.  Low Country refers to the southern coastal region of the United States starting in the southernmost part of North Carolina and extending down to the northernmost coastal regions of Florida. It also includes the many islands off the coast of the U.S. which were home  to many enslaved Africans and their descendants. The culture that developed in this region is known as Gullah or Geechee.  Visit http://www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org to find out more about the Gullah/Geechee culture.

Low country seafood boil is a simple meal, consisting of fresh seafood, corn on the cob, smoked, spicy sausage of your choice, and potatoes. The spicing of the boiling liquid determines just how successful the meal will be.

My cousin shared a photo and caption describing how she and her family enjoy their summer, Sunday meals. She has allowed me to share this with you.  I hope this post will inspire you to try this fun, one pot dish sometime soon.

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