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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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Berry Life: Growing Berries in South Africa

The Koo Valley is well known for its densely planted fruit tree orchards and a brand of canned fruit in South Africa that bears its name. The Koo valley lies between the Long and Waboomsberge mountains in Western Cape, South Africa.  The Koo valley lush farmlands are also well known for Cape Wine lands and the famous picturesque road of Rooihoogte Pass or R318 that passes along the full length of the Koo valley.
The Eastern Cape “Berry Corridor” hopes to become the largest blueberry producers by 2020. Thornhill Farms in Amathole spearhead the Eastern Cape berry corridor, which is one of the seven districts of Eastern Cape Province. Fruit and berries grown in Koo valley, the berry corridor or your own home garden are a delicious treat packed with vitamins, fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants.  Below are some common berries grown:


•Blueberry: Sweet, juicy blueberries are used for fresh eating, or in sauces and baked goods.

•Currant: The small, round fruits may be translucent white, red or purple with a rich, tart flavor used for preserves or wines.

•Elderberry: Similar to currants, elderberries are dark red to purple and make fine wine and preserves.

•Gooseberry: This thorny plant produces tart, green berries used in pies and preserves.

•Grape: Are botanically classified as berries. Table grapes are used fresh and may be red, green or black. Small, seeded types have an aromatic flavor and are used for juices and wines.

•Huckleberry: Huckleberries are similar to blueberries, and are delicious fresh, or in jams and baked goods.

•Logan Berry: This cross between a raspberry and a blackberry has a distinct taste and is used commercially in jams and juices.

•Raspberry: Raspberries are cold-hardy and long-lived, producing sweet, flavorful fruit suitable for fresh eating, sauces and preserves.

•Strawberry: Have an intense strawberry flavor that makes you stand up and take notice. Strawberries are cultivated worldwide with a sweet-smelling aroma, red color, and natural sweetness.

•Youngberry: Byrnes M. Young introduced this hybrid cross between a dewberry and a blackberry in 1905. Youngberries are frequently grown in South Africa.



Did you know…?
George is a small town close to Cape Town South Africa which hosts a two day Strawberry Festival in September of each year.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gingered Green Tomatoes a Healthy African Lunch in 10-minutes

Nigeria is one of the world’s leading growers of tomatoes but most of the produce goes bad because of the lack of established trade opportunities to reach consumers


Gingered Green Tomatoes


Ingredients
10 green and red tomatoes halved
2 tablespoons diced red onions
½ ginger
½ black pepper
½ cloves
½ allspice
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt to taste

Directions

Add all ingredients to a large bowl mix well and serve.



Did you know…?

According to Bloomberg in July 2013 Nigeria was the world’s second-largest importer of rice and sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest wheat and sugar buyer

Photo by Seattle Globalist


















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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chapati Flatbread to Eesh Baladi Baking is Art in Africa

Chapati Flatbread to Eesh Baladi Baking Bread is Art in Africa

Baking Bread in Africa

Baking Chapati Flatbread to Eesh Baladi is an art, the skill of bread baking throughout the African continent is a traditional talent filled with pride.



Pounding grain in Benin

From Kenyan Chapati flatbread to Egyptian Eesh Baladi the most delicious breads begin with proper ingredients and mixing. The method of mixing is important when several ingredients are combined when making dough for African breads and fritters. Mixing is a universal term that includes stirring, beating, blending, sifting, creaming, cutting in and folding.



Chapati Flatbread to Eesh Baladi Baking Bread is Art in Africa

Mixing by hand

Each mixing method gives a different consistency. The method of combining the ingredients is determined to some extent by the ingredients themselves. The tools used, such as whisks and spoons also make a difference. The tools you use for the job have a great impact on what happens during mixing.


 Examples of the type of mixing are


· Sifting, or putting materials through a fine mesh, is used to lighten flour that has been packed down, to remove coarse portions, or to mix thoroughly several dry ingredients.

·Stirring is done with a spoon, and is a round and round motion, used for mixing a liquid and a dry ingredient.

·Rubbing is used for combining a dry ingredient with a semi-solid substance like butter. Creaming is a term used for the rubbing of butter until it becomes soft and creamy. A spoon should be used, not the hand.

·“Cutting in” with a knife is used for combining butter with flour in biscuit and pastry where the butter should not be softened.

·Beating with a spoon, or beater of the spoon type, is a free over and over motion, the spoon being lifted from the mixture for the backward stroke. This is used for increasing the smoothness of the mixture after the first stirring, and for beating in air. It needs a strong free motion of the forearm. Beating is also accomplished by the rotary motion of a mechanical beater.

·Cutting and folding is the delicate process of mixing lightly beaten egg with a liquid or semi-liquid without losing out the air. The spoon is cut in, sidewise, a rotary motion carries it down and up again, and it folds in the beaten egg as it goes.

·Kneading is a motion used with dough, and is a combination of a rocking and pressing motion, accomplished by the hands. A good result can be obtained by some bread machines, and this is the cleaner method.

·Rolling out is just what the term denotes, a rolling of a thick piece of dough by means of a cylindrical wooden “pin” to the thickness proper for cookies and crusts. Dry bread is also rolled to break it into fine crumbs.

 

Simple Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread Recipe Below

Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread


Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour or all purpose
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir warm water, honey, and yeast in a large bowl let stand about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt dough sound is slightly sticky when you are done mixing.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand. You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment. Roll dough into small balls then flatten.

Cover with a cloth let rise in a warm place about 2 hours. Place dough on a light colored lightly greased baking pan and bake until golden about 20 minutes.



Delicious everyday Eesh Baladi Egyptian Bread will look like pita bread when done. Eesh Baladi is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Handing Down History Thru Recipes

Recipes are a type of storytelling handed down thru the generations. 

Homemade Cooking Heritage 


word-of-mouth is still customary in certain cultures, as this is the primary way recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. However, for the most part the oral tradition of sharing beloved family recipes is becoming a lost art.

Recipes are a type of storytelling handed down thru the generations.
Share stories about your family 
Perhaps a loved one passed away before you learned what the ingredients and techniques were. Maybe the recipe was always there and taken for granted. A loved one experimented long ago, perhaps failed at the recipe but, tried again, finally succeeded creating a family recipe, and passed it down by word of mouth. However, after a generation or two, the recipe's origin becomes a mystery and a family legacy fades away.

"Eating is a need, enjoying is an art."


Handing Down History Thru Recipes


Grandparents, parents and kids cooking together in the kitchen sharing secret family recipes connect together as a family avoiding the generation gap that happens when there is little to no communication across generations.


It's true that including the children in your cooking routine requires extra time and more patience than we sometimes can muster however, especially when the children are younger it is well worth the effort.  With a bit of luck, handing down recipes will become a storytelling adventure introducing long passed away loved ones to a new generation though a family recipe.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

African Dining Etiquette | How to eat with your hands

The Secret to Eating with Your Hands



African Dining Etiquette
Let's face it, hand food is fun, in Africa, they traditionally do not use knives or forks but before you get your hands dirty, there are some etiquette rules.


The Secret to Eating with Your Hands




Well technically eating with your hands means eating with small pieces of bread.


Enjoy Your Food Eat With Your Hands



Eating food with your hands in today’s society is observed as being unsanitary, unclean, bad mannered and even gross. Today as we adopt more customs of the western world, it is common to see people using spoons, forks and knifes. Eating with your hand instead of using silverware is a skill that can be gratifying when done in the approved manner. 


Etiquette should be observed when dining in any culture that eating with your hand is a tradition. The hands must be thoroughly washed; hands are washed before and after eating. Typically you eat with your right hand since bodily functions are taken care of with your left hand. Therefore, obviously it is considered rude and improper to use your left hand. 


Eating with your hand makes your food taste better. You may think you are reaching into the plate of food with your naked hand however; you will actually use a small piece of bread to scoop up the food. Just think of it as you are replacing utensils for pieces bread the same way some recipes replace a bowl for a large loaf of hollowed out bread. 


You will reach for food with your bread in hand from the side of the bowl that is facing you, not across the bowl. This is your space in which you eat but please don’t lick your fingers. 


Eating is a physical and social act and you should enjoy eating with your hands as much as possible. Eating with your hands enables you to feel closer to people you are dining with because you are sitting around the same table sitting close together eating from the same plate. Eating with your hand also makes your food taste better.


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Personal Thank You from The African Gourmet

One here: two there: a great crowd 


The main objective of our website, Tour of Africa Everyday African Food is to promote a cross-cultural understanding of Africa through its food and art. Thank you for your support over the last seven years.


The African Gourmet, facts about Africa and her 54 vastly diverse troubled yet intensely uplifting countries.
Thank You from The African Gourmet
Facts about Africa and its 54 vastly diverse troubled yet intensely uplifting countries. African culture, food, recipes, news, photos and travel, learn about 54 African countries her people, tribes, and communities.


"All contributions, however small, are of use"

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Golden Corn Cake with Ginger Butter

Golden Corn Cake and Ginger Butter


Ingredients
2 cups corn meal
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Photo by Mark H. Anbinder
1 egg
1 teaspoon soda
 2 cups sour milk or buttermilk

Directions

Sift the dry ingredients together except the soda. Add egg slightly beaten. Dissolve the soda in sour milk, stir into the dry ingredients quickly and pour into a greased light colored 8x8 pan. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degrees F oven.



Ginger Butter

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Directions

Melt butter and in a small pan over medium heat, add ginger. Remove from heat and allow cooling in a heat proof container such as a ramekin before placing covered into the refrigerator. You can also use the butter warm.

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Story of the Lightning and the Thunder

African Folktale


The Story of the Lightning and the Thunder

In the olden days the thunder and lightning lived on the earth amongst all the other
people, but the king made them live at the far end of the town, as far as possible from other people's houses.

African folktales are a cherished African oral storytelling traditionThe thunder was an old mother sheep, and the lightning was her son, a ram. Whenever the ram got angry he used to go about and burn houses and knock down trees; he even did damage on the farms, and sometimes killed people. Whenever the lightning did these things, his mother used to call out to him in a very loud voice to stop and not to do any more damage; but the lightning did not care in the least for what his mother said, and when he was in a bad temper used to do a very large amount of damage.

At last the people could not stand it any longer, and complained to the king.So the king made a special order that the sheep (Thunder) and her son, the ram (Lightning), should leave the town and live in the far bush. This did not do much good, as when the ram got angry he still burnt the forest, and the flames sometimes spread to the farms and consumed them.

So the people complained again, and the king banished both the lightning and the
thunder from the earth and made them live in the sky, where they could not cause so much destruction. Ever since, when the lightning is angry, he commits damage as before, but you can hear his mother, the thunder, rebuking him and telling him to stop. Sometimes, however, when the mother has gone away some distance from her naughty son, you can still see that he is angry and is doing damage, but his mother's voice cannot be heard.

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