Benin and Togo Cuisine
Benin

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 and papayas.

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.

Some specialties.

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 sauce.

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 sauce. Excellent!

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.

The Drinks

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.

Togo

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’ or agouti.

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.