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Established 2008 Chic African Culture teaches the history of African-food recipes and African-cultures, art, music, and oral literature.

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The person who is not patient cannot eat well-cooked dishes. -African Proverb

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How To Make Ethiopian Coffee At Home

How To Make Ethiopian Coffee At Home

Ethiopian Buna Coffee Ceremony
The process of preparing Ethiopian Buna Coffee Ceremony is long, this is why coffee is enjoyed in a group settings. Gathering for Ethiopian Coffee is a time of socialization, a time to be together and to talk for women.

How To Make Ethiopian Coffee At Home


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




The Ethiopian Coffee may be prepared three times in one day for various reasons including a meal. There is a time to share Buna with family, a time to drink Buna with other women and for breakfast or dinner and may include immediate family, including male members.


Coffee in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, is Buna. Buna is also the name of the coffee ceremony conducted by Ethiopian women. The host clothing should be a traditional Ethiopian dresses when preparing the ceremony. When a man prepares Buna he is questioned regarding his masculinity however there are a few exceptions to this rule. The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a ritual that the women of Ethiopia have participated in for centuries.

Buna coffee ceremony
Buna coffee ceremony  
The jebena, an often-ornate pot, is used to boil, prepare, and serve the coffee. If you do not have a jebena you serve tea. No jebena means no coffee ceremony. Items such as a tray with coffee cups and all of the items needed for making coffee are gathered and brought to the space in which the ceremony will take place.

The primary principle of organizing all of the items is to gather everything at once so that the woman preparing the coffee does not get up to collect other items later. The popcorn is the snack or maybe bread, since the Buna is never just coffee. The snack is enjoyed throughout the preparation process and while drinking coffee, with the intent of prolonging the Buna socializing experience.

The ceremony space is typically in a living room where others can sit comfortably and watch the preparation of the coffee ceremony. Coffee is rarely prepared in a kitchen. It is important to sit on a stool or chair, close to the ground, and have the coal stove accessible. You never sit on the ground unless in mourning, In Ethiopia you sit on the floor when you are mourning, when you have lost someone.
Once the coffee beans are cleaned and sorted, they are roasted on the stove. Once the beans transform to a rich, dark brown color, they are roasted and ready to be ground.

The fragrant, roasted beans are taken around the room so that participants can enjoy the aroma. Incense is also burned to add to the fragrance of the coffee. The absence of incense is considered a poor Buna ceremony. Once the beans are roasted, they are ground. There are three rounds of boiling and drinking coffee in the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Tradition mandates the boiling of three pots of coffee and consumption of at least one cup of coffee from each pot. To drink to the third pot is a sign of good luck and a blessing.


Did you know?
Ethiopia is where the coffee plants Coffea Arabica, Canephora and Liberica originates. The African country, Ethiopia manufactures the for the most part the most distinctive and captivating coffees on the plant. Ethiopia is the world's fifth largest producer of coffee, provides employment for nearly 15 million people, and makes up some 28 percent of the country's yearly exports. Coffee has a long and revered history in Ethiopia and is an important component of Ethiopian culture and society.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to Make Shito Ghanaian Hot Pepper Sauce

How to Make Shito Ghanaian Pepper Hot Sauce
Hot Sauce, Pepper Sauce Recipe

Shito Ghanaian pepper sauce and hot sauce is a favorite condiment to serve with any number of American and African dishes.




Hot peppers names clockwise from bottom left are habaneros, hot Portugal, hot lemon, serrano, poblano, cajun bell and  jalapeno.
Shito Ghanaian pepper sauce and hot sauce is enjoyed with vegetables, fish, meat or poultry, it is also ideal with yams recipes, green plantains, and potatoes. In other words, Shito Ghanaian pepper sauce and hot sauce is perfect for just about any food dish.

Shito is the best artisan small-batch hot pepper sauce you will ever make.



Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture


How to Make Shito Ghanaian Pepper Sauce

Grilled whole fish with mild and hot peppers

African recipes by African Gourmet

Shito Ghanaian pepper sauce is made with hot peppers, shrimp, fish, tomato paste and seasonings to create Ghana’s most beloved hot sauce.

Prep time: Cook time: 15 Total time: 2


Ingredients:

2 cups tomato puree

10 dried hot chilies

1 tablespoon shrimp paste

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a food processor and mix well. In a medium saucepan simmer 15 minutes on low. Add sauce to soups, stews or use as a sauce over seafood.

Hot peppers for Shito photo by John Winkelman


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Madagascar Unique Forests are in Danger

Madagascar Unique Forests are in Danger In Africa

Madagascar plant life
Madagascar's forests are home to unique plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. However, 3 acres of Madagascar's forests are lost on Africa’s largest island a year.
Ranomafana Frog in Madagascar

Madagascar Unique Forests are in Danger In Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Madagascar is important to the environment of the world.


Giraffe Weevil in Andasibe, Madagascar photo by Frank VassonIsolated for 60 million years, Madagascar’s ecosystem is a treasure trove of unique and often unusual animals and plants. 

More than 80 percent of Madagascar Island’s amazing vegetation and wildlife appear nowhere else in the world. 

Losing around 3 acres of forest in Madagascar has a greater impact on global biodiversity than losing 3 acres of forest anywhere else on Earth. Madagascar is important to the environment of the world.

Because 80 percent of the Malagasy population depends on making their living through subsistence agriculture, Madagascar’s forests are in danger. 
Using slash-and-burn cultivation techniques, farmers often destroyed what made their home so ecologically important. 

Lizard in Ambanoro Antsiranana, Madagascar photo by FrontierofficalIn an effort to help farmers protect their livelihoods and the environment, USAID helped develop the National Confederation of Koloharena, a farmer's’ association with local, regional, and national representatives. 

Members of the group grow red rice using specialized techniques that help them increase their harvest yields without putting an extra strain on nearby forests or land.





Did you know?
According to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance Madagascar ranks in 33rd place out of 52 African countries, Sudan and South Sudan are not currently included.Madagascar

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boiled Plantains African Recipe

Boiled Plantains African Recipe

Plantain Recipe
Plantains are a major food staple in many regions of Africa. Plantains are typically eaten cooked and boiled plantains are easy to prepare.
Boiled Plantains African Recipe

Boiled Plantains African Recipe


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Many plantain recipes call for frying, but this method increases the calorie content.


Boiled Plantains African Recipe

Ingredients
2 green large plantains
Water for boiling
Spices of your choice

Directions
In a large pot of salted boiling water or vegetable broth carefully drop washed stemmed unpeeled plantains in boiling water. Cook for 15- 20 minutes until tender. Peel before serving and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper or any spice of your choice.

Did you know?
Ripe and green plantains

Plantains look like a larger version of a banana but have thicker peels and starchier fruit. Plantains are often used in African cooking and are a major food staple in many regions of Africa.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

After Asia Madagascar has the longest history of rice production

After Asia Madagascar has the longest history of rice production

Madagascar rice
Madagascar, rice markets are particularly important, since rice is the most important staple and rice production is a major source of income and employment.
Uncooked rice

After Asia Madagascar has the longest history of rice production


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Rice forms the staple of most meals in Madagascar however, Madagascar rice economy is very fragile due to too much rain or not enough rain.



The rice production technologies used in Madagascar are still largely traditional, rice production is still largely highly labor intensive. Rice cultivation is found almost everywhere in Madagascar. 

Lowland rice production structures are well developed and rice terraces are regularly found along the roads between the capital and largest city in Madagascar Antananarivo and the third largest city in Madagascar Antsirabe.


Madagascar’s economy is very fragile; the country imports significant amounts of rice from international markets for everyday consumption, around 51 percent.
Planting rice in Madagascar 
Madagascar’s economy is very fragile; the country imports significant amounts of rice from international markets for everyday consumption, around 51 percent. 

Madagascar rice growers know that rice production is all about water and timing. The rice grain needs a lot of water at first, but if torrential rains fall at harvest time, they can destroy the crop. Rice is a hugely important part of life on the island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. At times, it shows up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In much of the country, it dominates the landscape, planted in small plots across millions of acres of land.
 
The average household income in Madagascar is less than $1.25 making Madagascar an extreme low income African country according the World Bank Standards. As prices increase for rice as well as other major staples of cassava and maize, most small farmers benefit little or not at all from price increases. Other major agricultural products in Madagascar are coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, manioc, tapioca, beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products.


Did you know?
Madagascar was one of the last major landmasses on earth to be colonized by humans. Madagascar’s population consists of 18 main ethnic groups, all of whom speak the same Malagasy language. Most Malagasy are multi-ethnic, however, reflecting the island’s diversity of settlers and historical contacts.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Clove Farming in Zanzibar Tanzania a Government Monopoly

Zanzibar Was Once The Spice Island King of Cloves In Africa

Zanzibar Spice Island
Zanzibar in Tanzania known as the Spice Islands was once the world's largest producer of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. Zanzibar has a spice trade dating back to the 16th century, but today tourism is one of its main money making industries.
Clove Farming in Zanzibar

Zanzibar Was Once The Spice Island King of Cloves In Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Spices, especially cloves have long been a pillar of Zanzibar's trade economy but hard times have fallen on the once King of cloves.


Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of the tree Syzygium aromaticum. The word clove comes from the French clou meaning nail. The fruits are not eaten. Dried flower buds are used as a spice, and medicinally for countless things. The clove tree is a tropical tree which will not survive temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soon after attaining independence from Britain, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. The Spice Islands, Zanzibar in Tanzania was once the world's largest producer of cloves however the title now belongs to Indonesia and Madagascar. Farmers who produce cloves have seen dramatic price falls in recent times.

In most African countries poverty is a rural phenomenon. Therefore, reducing poverty means first and foremost raising the incomes of farmers. Tanzanian farmers are only allowed to sell cloves to the government owned Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC). If farmers attempt to sell outside of government center they can be arrested for smuggling.

The Zanzibar government made a decision to privatize the clove trade in 2007 stating “We cannot let the farming of cloves go into private hands because the commodity is the symbol of Zanzibar.” Zanzibar has enacted a law prohibiting anyone from transporting cloves without government permission and it is unlawful for anyone to make charcoal from clove trees. Under Zanzibar law, clove farmers can sell cloves to ZSTC only. Much of the harvest will end up exported by the government for use in cooking, medicines, cosmetics and of course the clove cigarettes beloved by Indonesians.
Zanzibar clove plant species
Clove buds 


Did you know?
Clove trees take at least five years before they start flowering.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kaapsehoop Gold Mining the Devils Office South Africa

Kaapsehoop Gold Mining the Devils Office South Africa

South African gold belt
Gold mining in 1881 in the gold mines of Kaapsehoop South Africa involved panning, sluicing, dredging, hard rock mining, and working in the devils office.
Gold mining in 1882 in the gold mines of Kaapsehoop South Africa

Kaapsehoop Gold Mining the Devils Office South Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Kaapsehoop, the devils office, overlooks the De Kaap Valley also known as the valley of death because many gold miners died from malaria.



Kaapsehoop is a town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Kaapsehoop owes its existence to the discovery of gold in the hills around the present-day town in 1881. A rush of miners and fortune-hunters ensued. The name Kaapschehoop is also spelled Kaapsche Hoop.

In 1882 Bernard Chomse claimed to have found gold in the bed of a stream in Kaapsehoop and a gold rush took place. Its existence was short-lived, however, as most of the broker's left Barberton following the discovery of the rich goldfields of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Witwatersrand mine is so rich it produces about 50% of all the gold ever mined on earth.

Kaapsehoop gold rush was short lived due to the discovery of a much richer gold mine in Witwatersrand and gold miners named the Kaapsehoop mine duiwelskantoor “devil's office”. According to South Africa travel directory an early record says, no description could convey anything approaching an adequate idea of the difficulties of a journey through this region. The mountains are so rugged that only the devil could live here.
Kaapsehoop South Africa

Did you know?
Bernard Chomse is credited for being the first gold miner to find gold in 1881 in a stream bed near to Kaapsehoop.


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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Green Plantain Fufu Recipe

Green Plantain Fufu Recipe
Fufu Recipe
Making fufu in the Onipepeye area Ibadan Nigeria
Goat egusi soup with fufu

Pounded green plantain fufu African recipe is easy to make and the neutral taste compliments a rainbow of African soups and stews. Foufou can be prepared in advance and reheated.


Green Plantain Fufu Recipe

Fufu recipes are eaten with African soups and stew recipes used to scoop up sauce, soups and stews.
African Recipes by Chic African Culture
Fufu recipes are eaten with African soups and stew recipes used to scoop up sauce, soups and stews. Foufou or Fufu is a common African dish similar to mashed potatoes but much denser.

Green Plantain Fufu Star Rating


Ingredients 
3 green or yellow plantains 
1 medium cassava root 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4-1/2 cup water 


Directions

In a large pot place the peeled and evenly cut plantains and cassava and cover with water. Boil until soft about 20 minutes. 

Place the salt, flour, plantains and cassava in a mixer and whip until the consistency of soft dough is achieved. 


Fufu should be much stiffer than mashed potatoes in texture. Fufu is used to scoop up sauce, soups and stews. 

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