31 December 2010

First of many random food related posts

It's interesting how this is the first food-related post of mine as a PCV given all the interesting mishaps and successes we have all had with local food here in Sierra Leone!

Ok so during the early days as a freshly minted Peace Corps volunteer, back when everything was so new, foreign, intimidating (still seems that way sometimes!), and exciting, I decided to do a random food experiement. I was bored one day and had on me a bag of raw palm kernels, some salt, a loaf of locally made white bread, and a killer appetite. This was back when I was still trying to navigate the complex foodways of Bumbuna, Sierra Leone and didn't quite know what my next meal would be. What would seem like a random vichyssoise of ingredients to most people was to me at the time a complete meal! So thus began the experiment...

Behold the palm kernels

You take a piece of bread, dipped in a small amount of salt (Iodized if your feeling fancy that particular day) and take a bite

You take one palm kernel (Your fingers may get stained in the process...don't worry, this is normal)

And take a sizeable bit of the selected palm kernel, taking care to leave behind the stringy pulp, with the salted bread still in mouth

Then chew chew chew the mish-mash together, taking note of the ohh so complex, bitter and oily undertones of the palm kernels and the way they blend together with the salty, earthiness of the locally made bread, all up in your mouth, giving you a satisfying and memorable eating experience!!...Then Repeat at least 15 times...or at least until you feel like throwing up, it's your call ;)

Note: I'm not responsible for any unintentional staining of the lips, teeth, clothing, and/or fingers during this experience.