Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fried legs and yam

"The lunchtime canteen for students is the "garbat," simple tables surrounded by four posts with straw overhead to create a roof and with calabashes for cooking. Oil isn't changed very often for frying. There is no refrigeration, and everything is cooked on the ground amid the flies and dust. You're most likely to find fried fish, yam "French fries," foutou and of course "kedjenou" with attieke or braised chicken. There are no plates or cutlery in the canteen: everyone eats with their hands from the same dishes. But the food is delicious!
The flavor of Kedjenou chicken, braised with vegetables, is due in particular to its main ingredient: "bicycle" chicken, so named because the birds are allowed to run freely, eating whatever they find in their yards or on the streets. The chickens are very lean and flavorful, with no fat. Preparing Kedjenou chicken anywhere else won't yield the same results, since using a plumper chicken with more fat will change the flavor and texture. But anyone who tries Ivory Coast chicken loves it.
Sea fishing is carried out mostly around the Gulf of Guinea. Fishermen bring back tuna, sardines, bonito and shrimp. On the menu you'll find…
pan-fried frog's legs with garlic and parsley
Baoule shrimp fried in butter, sprinkled with cayenne and flambéed with whisky, with a little cream added just before serving to make a rich and delicious sauce
a fish called "capitaine" that is cooked "en papillote" in the oven with lemons, onions, tomato, salt and pepper…
For dessert, you need only pick some mangos, mandarins, mangostans, pomegranates, soursops, passion fruit, coconuts… These are found everywhere, and so delicious that they can be eaten just as they are." (Michele Serre, 2007 "The Worldwide Gourmet")

high maintenance walking, turning down this alley and out onto the unwetted sand, digging in my heels with every step, now the sun is burning my calves and rings of white salt gather round my ankles, personal best one hour coupled within three hammock regions, netted fish and pelican wounds perched in augmentation for ropes that divide the spurn from wreckage and warble. if the sun refuse to shine, where o where is that love o mine, gone to drinking, gone to hoe, fat boy winking get ya joe, messin' up the anty, throwin' down the bets, come a seven come eleven double clavinets, music in the back room, music in the hall, tell me who your mamma is so i can read the wall, if you stop, if you stay, much is given, taken way, who you, say do, volume up and cash it too, little bitty frog legs frying in the pan, make it for your daddy with a sweet meat yam, make it for your baby when the ocean start to rise, come a little closer to me, dark red skies.