Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

Two Ingredients Grilled Sweet Plantains

Two Ingredients Grilled Sweet Plantains

Boli is a popular street food recipe of Nigeria. Whole sweet plantains are grilled and sold on street corners or in traffic by African street hawkers.

African street food hawkers know how to grill sweet plantains perfectly.

African street food hawkers teach how to grill sweet plantains perfectly.
Boli grilled sweet plantains

Boli Two Ingredients Grilled Sweet Plantains Recipe

4 large ripe yellow plantains
1 teaspoon salt

Peel the plantains leave whole and place on top of grill. Grill plantains over very low coals for about 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Plantains on sale at market in Ibadan Nigeria
Plantains on sale at market in Ibadan Nigeria

The street food trade or street hawking is a very popular trade in Ibadan Nigeria and sometimes the only way for some Nigerians to make a living. Many African families rely on hawking as the sole source of income. Ibadan is the capital and most populous city of Oyo State, Nigeria. With a population of over 3 million, it is the third most populous city in Nigeria Africa.

Plantains on sale at market in Ibadan Nigeria
Plantains on sale at market in Ibadan Nigeria

Plantains are an important food in West and Central Africa. They are an important ingredient of many dishes and the leaves of can be used as a source of fiber for thread, cloth string, thread or can be used as thatch and roofing due to the huge leaves that can reach up to 9 feet in length and 2 feet in width which wrap around the trunk of the plantain tree. Plantation trees can grow for 25 years producing fruit and reach heights up to 30 feet.

One hundred or more different varieties of plantain grow in Africa. Uganda is the largest producer of plantains followed by Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Plantain trees botanical name Musa paradisiaca produce starchy cooking fruit however plantains are distinguished from bananas by their fruit which, although from the naked eye look very similar to bananas, are actually longer, firmer and possess a higher starch content and thicker skin.

Plantains are eaten as a vegetable cooked prior to eating, treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavor and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying. Green plantains are simply the younger immature stage of the plantain fruit. 

Plantains are one of the primary staple foods of West and Central Africa sometimes eaten with fish or meat. Plantains are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins A, C and B group as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. Plantains provide up to 35 percent of the total calories in the diets of Africans. 

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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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