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Typical food of Côte d'Ivoire

All you need to know about the food of this magnificent country.

by: Jacoba Budden | 02 Jun 2010

Most Ivoirians depend on grain and root vegetables, yams, plantains, maize, rice and peanuts with Fufu (the national dish).

They are usually served with meat (often chicken and fish which are favourites) and kedjenou, a vegetable sauce made with aubergines, okra, tomatoes and peanuts.

Attiéké - Similar to couscous and made from grated cassava, it is a popular side dish.

Spices are popular with imported and local hot pepper often found to accentuate flavours.

Grains and vegetables are typically served with a variety of sauces and fresh fruit is a standard dessert.

Local palm wine, ginger beer and Youki soda (a little sweeter than tonic water) are local favourite drinks.

Outdoor markets, street vendors and the local maquis (a restaurant unique to Côte d’Ivoire) are the best places to sample local food.The maquis are reasonably priced and can be found throughout the country.

The Ivoirians are generous and hospitable people who enjoy inviting others to join them for a meal. They believe that those who are blessed enough to be able to prepare a meal should share their good fortune with others.

In a typical village, all the villagers will gather to eat in a common area because eating not only feeds the body, it unites people with a community spirit.

Women, men and young boys eat separately from one another on a large mat, placed on the ground.

The food is scooped up from large bowls with the right hand. Rice is usually rolled into a tight ball and is used to scoop up meat and sauce.

The eldest villagers eat first so that they can detect any contaminated or sour food. If someone suspects that the food is contaminated in any way, the elders will stop the younger members from eating.

Once everyone has begun eating, strict table manners are enforced:

It’s rude to reach across the table for food and coughing and sneezing at the table is frowned upon.

After meals, a bowl of water is passed around for everyone can wash their hands.

The typical food of the tribes of Côte d ‘Ivoire

The Agni and Abron farm cocoa and coffee.

The Senufo tribes
, who live in the country’s northern savannah region, cultivate yams, millet and rice. The rice is served with a peppery peanut sauce.

The Dioula of the far northwest, cultivate millet, rice and peanuts.

The Kulango people of the north, grow watermelons, maize, yams and peanuts.

The coastal tribes have a seafood and vegetable rich menu.

Throwing a Côte d' Ivorian-style bash? Click here to see Food24's Côte d' Ivorian party menu!


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