Mar. 11, 2016

Eating African Food in Restaurants Abroad

If you are an African living in the diaspora or you love African food, then you may know this: - that wherever you travel abroad outside Africa, you will find any kind of restaurant except an African one. Even though there are hardly any African restaurants abroad, existing ones unfortunately do not feature African food a la carte.  This makes "afro-dishiac" eating out difficult.

Moreover, if you look at cooking websites, you will find that many non- African sites feature all kinds of cuisines and recipes from around the world except African cuisine.   It’s been like this for many years.  My question is, what is the issue with African food that prevents it from transcending our shores and going international?   Why can’t we have our food out there competing with the others for recognition, acceptance and inclusion?  I think that we have not done enough:

  1. to showcase the wide varieties of foods that we have and their immense benefits to the world -  the  Moringas, the Baobab fruit (the emerging superfoods from Africa),  the Pona Yams, the Paya Nkus (Our world class Avocados etc) and

  2. to present them in  a way that is appealing to catch the attention of other cultures.

So what am I saying?  I am saying that our food is like international currency. If we want international recognition, we need to convert it into international usability. That may mean some clever processing that will not deplete nutrients.  It may also mean improvising and packaging different foods to fill specific food niches abroad.  It may also mean finding ways to prolong the lifespan of some of our incredibly impressive perishable foods so we can share them with the world. We may yet again simply find out what countries like India and China have done and do the same.  Only then will our food be accepted and featured in the places we want to see them.  Let us keep this dialogue going. 

Please go to “Contact me” at africaonyourplate.simplesite.com and express your views on how we can present our food to attract other cultures.  Next week, I will share with you a beautiful Ghanaian recipe that will enhance your get-togethers and make you a satisfied host/hostess.  Until then, have a great weekend and

Happy Entertaining!

Monica Busia