For many visitors, tasting
the local cuisine Benin is a great way to “take the pulse” of culture.
Like people, the local cuisine varies greatly from one region to another,
and tasting some dishes of Benin can leave you with unforgettable memories.
In the South, corn is the
main staple food. It is used mostly for the manufacture of several different
kinds of dough usually served with peanut sauce or tomato. The fish and
chicken meat are most usually consumed in the South and are usually fried
in oil palm or peanut. Like other meats, we have the mutton, rabbit, beef
and agouti. Rice, couscous and beans are also widespread.
The seasonal fruits are very
abundant in the South and include oranges, bananas, pineapples, mangoes
In the North, the yam is
the staple food. Yam crushed eat with peanut sauce or tomato. The beef,
pork and chicken are consumed the most and are usually fried or prepared
sauce. Cheese is a specialty of the North. Rice, couscous and beans are
also consumed. Depending on the season, there is abundant fresh mangoes
and other fruits.
Akassa: paste of maize (possibly
mil) fermented with a sauce.
La pâte: The dough
of corn dough, a little bland but to soak in one of the sauces.
Akpan: corn patties that
are dipped in a sauce.
Amiwo: corn dough red. Less
fade that separate the white car with a puree of tomatoes mixed with onions
and peppers. Is also accompanied by a sauce.
Gari: pastry flour cassava
finely minced, used a bit like Swiss cheese (no taste) on rice, or spaghetti
Fufu: pounded yam forming
a paste with a slight taste, pleasant.
Aloko: as in all countries
of the Gulf of Guinea, are trunks of fried plantain.
Moyo: sauce tomato, onions
and peppers that often accompanies the fried fish.
Wagasi: There are around
Pakarou but also in Mono, south-west, a cheese crust red reminiscent of
the mozzarella. But here the cheese is fried and then dipped in a spicy
Beye: cake-based roasted
peanuts, then crushed and then kneaded with a little water to extract oil
and turn it into pulp that we finally met in cooking oil obtained. Slightly
spicy and crisp. Found in Zou (center) and the Mono region.
Mineral water: thermal mineral
water is bottled at the source of thermal Possotomé. It is strongly
advised visitors to drink mineral water.
The juice of local and imported
brands are available in restaurants and markets.
Soft drinks and beer are
available in most bars and restaurants. Coca-Cola and Fizz who are local
soft drinks are everywhere. Among the brands popular local beer, we are
Benin, the Flag and Castel.
The Sodabi is a local alcohol
made from palm wine. It is the local gin is consumed by many people during
demonstrations and local celebrations. It is advisable for visitors to
enjoy in moderation. It is akin to vodka.
The Tchoucoutou is a local
beer and soft thick prepared in the North. It can be found easily in Parakou
and is popular among indigenous as well as among visitors.
Togolese cuisine is renowned
throughout the region and Togolese chefs are found working in restaurants
and hotels all over West Africa.
The most widely eaten food
is maize, which is ground into flour and mixed with water to make a porridge
called pétes, (a French word) or akume (the same thing in Ewé).
Pétes is always served with 'sauces' -- thick stews usually
made of vegetables, like okra and ademe and spinach. Sauces are also made
with meat, most often smoked fish, but all sorts of other meats are eaten,
including fish heads, cow skin and large bush rats, known locally as ‘grasscutters’
Another very famous Togolese
food is fufu. The preparation of fufu is a communal ritual; a hard, laborious
task done by women. First yams are washed, peeled, cut up and boiled until
soft. Then two or three women pound the cooked yams in a pestle with thick
sticks until the yam has the consistency of baker’s dough. The noise the
fufu pounders make is one of the most instantly recognisable sounds in
Togo. Like p?tes, fufu is eaten with sauces. Groundnut, goat and palm nut
are popular flavours.
Other crops get a similar
treatment. Cassava is milled into flour and shaped into a péte called
a kokonte, and in dryer areas, sorghum and millet are grown and made into
porridge or p?tes.
Togolese eating and drinking
habits have been influenced by the country’s colonial legacy. German-style
beer is very popular, and baguettes are preferred over loaves.
Mostly Togolese people eat
at home, but for those who wish to eat out, roadside stalls sell corn on
the cob, peanuts, omelettes, brochettes and cooked prawns, and in the main
towns, there are restaurants of all sorts.